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Coins and Cards

A couple of issues that I have mentioned previously also came up in the free responses to the hatsumōdë survey, both connected to practical issues around offerings. The first is the service charge for depositing coins. Most jinja seem to have failed to find a way around that. Some are simply giving one yen coins (which cost more than one yen to deposit in a bank account) to UNICEF, while others have managed to make arrangements with local shops that cope most of the year, but cannot handle the vast… Read More »Coins and Cards

Reactions to the Noto Earthquake

The responses to Jinja Shinpō’s survey about hatsumōdë this year also included quite a few references to the 2024 Noto Earthquake — naturally enough, as it happened on January 1st. A couple of local reporters who live in the area did respond. One started by saying that messages of support had started coming from the Shinto community almost immediately after the earthquake, and for that they were very grateful. However, not only had the sanctuaries been destroyed, but so had the surrounding area. With the population shrinking and mostly elderly,… Read More »Reactions to the Noto Earthquake

Hatsumōdë Survey 2024

As last year, Jinja Shinpō conducted a survey of hatsumōdë across the country by sending enquiries to all the priests who are engaged as local reporters. They received responses from 349 in total. These priests are at a wide range of jinja, from large ones with multiple priests, to multiple jinja that cannot support a full-time priest between them, and cover the entire country. I think the results came out rather earlier last year, and I suspect that the reason for the delay this year was the 2024 Noto Earthquake.… Read More »Hatsumōdë Survey 2024

Hatsumōdë 2024

The January 22nd issue of Jinja Shinpō had an article about hatsumōdë, as normal for this time of year. The Noto Earthquake, of course, cast a pall over things this year, but hatsumōdë went ahead in the rest of the country and, as usual, it was strongly influenced by the weather. For the article, Jinja Shinpō contacted five major jinja around the country. The first was, of course, Jingū. This was the only jinja to give a number: they had 377,011 visitors over the first three days of the year,… Read More »Hatsumōdë 2024

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

Hatsumōdë Survey 2023

I mentioned in my earlier post that Jinja Shinpō was gathering more information about this year’s hatsumōdë. That information was published in the February 13th issue. The newspaper asked the priests who are affiliated with it as local reporters about their hatsumōdë experiences, and they received responses from 373 people across the whole of Japan. This is not a randomly selected representative sample, but it does cover a wide geographical area and many types of jinja, so it is the best data we are likely to get. The first thing… Read More »Hatsumōdë Survey 2023