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Presidential Election

OK, back to Jinja Honchō politics. The June 13th issue of Jinja Shinpō had an article about the current state of the election of the new president of Jinja Honchō on the front page. On June 3rd, the last day of the term of the previous directors and officers, the chairman wrote to all members of the Oversight Council and to all the Prefectural Jinjachō saying that he named Revd Ashihara as president and Revd Nishitakatsuji as vice president at the board meeting on May 28th, and that after consultation… Read More »Presidential Election

Priests and Workers

As I mentioned last time, one of the interesting points raised at the Oversight Council was the relationship between priests and workers. More specifically, it was about whether priests can be considered as workers. The actual language used translates literally as “religion person”, but that sounds silly in English, and they are mainly talking about priests. There was concern that considering priests to be workers, under the law, could cause significant problems. For example, if all-night duties, such as serving at hatsumōdë or spending the night in the jinja before… Read More »Priests and Workers

The Oversight Council

The Oversight Council met from May 26th to May 28th, and the June 6th issue of Jinja Shinpō carried a fairly detailed account of the deliberations, over the first two pages. As I predicted, there were “lively discussions” and a “full and frank exchange of views”. Before I move on to those, however, there are a couple of points I want to make first. The Chairman was re-elected unanimously, and the budgets were passed. The Chairman (a largely, but not entirely, ceremonial position) still appears to have everyone’s confidence, and… Read More »The Oversight Council

The National Sōdai Council

At the end of May, the Jinja Shinto world holds a week of meetings. This includes a meeting of the Oversight Council, but also the annual meetings of a lot of associated bodies, and an awards ceremony. The whole week is called the “Green Leaves Meetings”, and it is a major event in the calendar. One of the first meetings on the schedule is the meeting of the National Sōdai Council (全国総代会) which brings together the lay elders of jinja across Japan. There are representatives from every prefecture, and they… Read More »The National Sōdai Council

Court Case Editorial

The May 16th issue of Jinja Shinpō carried an editorial about the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear Jinja Honchō’s appeal in the court case. Editorials in Jinja Shinpō are unsigned, but written by members of a group chosen because they are influential opinion formers within the Shinto world. Thus, the editorials are expected to be influential in shaping the future direction of Shinto, and are written on that assumption. The title of this editorial could be loosely translated as “Pull Ourselves Together and Remember That We Are… Read More »Court Case Editorial

Supreme Court Decision

On April 21st, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Jinja Honchō’s appeal. The court refused to hear the appeal, saying that there were no grounds for it. Thus, the decision of the Tokyo High Court is now final. To quickly recap (Jinja Shinpō gave a whole page of the May 2nd issue over to a recap), Mr Inë, a department head at Jinja Honchō, accused the President and some directors of corruption over a real estate deal. He was fired for disrupting the good order of Jinja Honchō and… Read More »Supreme Court Decision