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Hatsumōdë 2023 Impressions

As normal, Jinja Shinpō is writing about hatsumōdë, an event that is central to the viability of many jinja. There was a front page article in the January 23rd issue, which I will write about here, and they are planning another article soon, when they have collected information from their reporters across Japan. This article primarily relied on contacting a number of prominent jinja, in different areas: Jingū, in Isë, Meiji Jingū in Tokyo, Takëkoma Jinja in Miyagi Prefecture, Sumiyoshi Taisha in Osaka, Hōfu Tenmangū in Yamaguchi Prefecture, and Munakata… Read More »Hatsumōdë 2023 Impressions

New Year in Japan Video

Greg Lam at Life Where I’m From has put up a video about New Year’s in Japan, featuring me. The video should start at the beginning of the description of hatsumōdë, which has a voiceover by me, and quite a bit of footage that I filmed at Shirahata Hachiman Daijin last new year (so, the year before last, moving into last year — the footage actually crosses midnight). This one should start later in the video, with some scenes of people going to Shirahata-san on New Year’s Day last year.… Read More »New Year in Japan Video

Hatsumōdë Survey 2022

This year, Jinja Shinpō carried out a survey of its local correspondents to ask about the state of hatsumōdë, and reported the results in the 14 February issue. They did this last year as well, to find out how the pandemic was affecting smaller jinja. The particular questions this year were about whether numbers of visitors had increased, decreased, or stayed the same since last year, and since the year before last (which was before the pandemic had made it to Japan). In addition, there was a space for the… Read More »Hatsumōdë Survey 2022

Hatsumōdë 2022

In the January 24th issue, Jinja Shinpō published an article about hatsumōdë this year, the second year under the influence of COVID-19. The big picture is that, at most jinja, numbers were way up on last year, but still not back to 2020 levels, before the pandemic got started. In general, the number of visitors to a jinja was around 70% of 2020 levels. At this point, the reports are all from major jinja, such as Jingū in Isë, Meiji Jingū in Tokyo, Fushimi Inari Taisha in Kyoto, and Dazaifu… Read More »Hatsumōdë 2022

Hatsumōdë: The Visitors’ View

In my last post, I reported on Jinja Shinpō’s hatsumōdë survey of about 400 priests across the country. They also conducted an online survey of about a thousand “ordinary” Japanese, to see how they had handled hatsumōdë this year. The first result they reported is that 78.2% of them had come across the encouragement to spread out hatsumōdë visits. That advertising campaign really does seem to have been effective, which underwrites the complaints made by rural priests, reported in my last post, that it was too much “one size fits… Read More »Hatsumōdë: The Visitors’ View

Hatsumōdë: The Big Picture

This year’s hatsumōdë was, thanks to COVID-19, very different from most years. I have already written about some of the early reports, but Jinja Shinpō has now completed a survey of its local contacts, which means that it has responses from over 400 priests from across Japan, covering a wide range of types of jinja. The results show that, unsurprisingly, the impact of the pandemic varied a lot from jinja to jinja. The simplest statistic is that about 80% of jinja reported at least some fall in hatsumōdë visitors over… Read More »Hatsumōdë: The Big Picture