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AI Norito

Jinja Shinpō has an irregular series of short opinion pieces by journalists working on the paper, printed on the first page. (In weeks when they do not have one, they print a short explanation of why they appear to be spelling so many words wrong — they use the pre-war conventions for kana choice, although they do use hiragana rather than katakana.) The 19th June issue had one, about changes in society. It started by discussing the problems that the law was having keeping up with generative AI, particularly the… Read More »AI Norito

The Practicalities of Receiving Offerings

The survey of priests’ experiences of hatsumōdë that I discussed last time also covered a couple of issues related to money: the service charge on depositing coins, and cashless payments. These are both serious issues for jinja, and both become more pressing around hatsumōdë. The new bank charges for depositing coins have had a large impact. A number of jinja reported finding a lot of small-denomination coins in the offering boxes this year, and reasonably concluded that people had decided that, rather than depositing them and paying the charges, they… Read More »The Practicalities of Receiving Offerings

Cashless Systems

The December 12th issue of Jinja Shinpō had an interesting front-page article about cashless payment systems and the implications for jinja. It turns out that introducing such facilities at jinja is not at all straightforward. First, there are four different types of cashless payment in Japan, and they are covered by different laws. These are pre-paid systems, funds transfer systems, direct bank payment systems, and credit systems. The law for pre-paid systems does not allow them to be used for charitable donations, as they must be used to pay for… Read More »Cashless Systems

Digitising Norito

When I posted about the process of writing out norito at Jingū a couple of weeks ago, I had a comment about the possibilities for digitalisation. That very topic, complete with a reference to the article that inspired my blog post, was taken up in a book review in the October 3rd issue of Jinja Shinpō. The review was of a collection of norito for regular matsuri written by the chief priest of Akasaka Hië Jinja in Tokyo, and the comments were inspired by the fact that the book includes… Read More »Digitising Norito

Cashless Payments

The second interesting presentation at the Shinto Youth Association training session (first one here), as reported in the September 12th edition of Jinja Shinpō, was about cashless payments. I have mentioned before that the (belated) spread of cashless payments in Japan is an issue for jinja, both for practical reasons, and because the physical offerings have religious significance. At the training session, further issues were raised. Omamori and ofuda are not bought and sold at jinja. This is because of the religious significance of the items: omamori and ofuda are… Read More »Cashless Payments

Preparing for the Oversight Council

The regular autumn meeting of Jinja Honchō’s Oversight Council is scheduled for October 13th, and it promises, once again, to be “lively”. On September 7th, the Board of Directors met to prepare for it, and the meeting was reported on the front page of the September 19th issue of Jinja Shinpō. A lot of boring but important business seems to have passed without issue. That is one of the most promising features of the current problems — no-one seems to be interested in disrupting the normal operation of Jinja Honchō… Read More »Preparing for the Oversight Council

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