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Jingū Taima

Jingū Taima (the ofuda from Jingū at Isë) are largely distributed around New Year, and so this was another topic that came up in the survey. Coincidentally, the matsuri at Jingū to mark the end of this year’s distribution was held on March 5th, and was also reported in the March 18th issue of Jinja Shinpō. This article also includes the reports on numbers distributed. This year, 8,038,452 Jingū Taima were distributed, a fall of 43,714 compared to last year. Although the numbers have fallen for fourteen consecutive years, since… Read More »Jingū Taima

The Shikinen Sengū Begins

The front and back pages of the April 15th issue of Jinja Shinpō were devoted to the news that the process of the 2033 Jingū Shikinen Sengū has formally begun. Jingū, in Isë, Mië Prefecture, central Japan, is a complex of 125 jinja centred on the Kōtai Jingū, which enshrines Amaterasu Ōmikami, and the Toyo’ukë Daijingū, which enshrines Toyo’ukë Ōmikami. The whole complex is rebuilt once every twenty years, and the sacred treasures for the kami are all replaced at the same time. This is the Shikinen Sengū. “Sengū” means… Read More »The Shikinen Sengū Begins

The Shōgun and Amaterasu Ōmikami

A few weeks ago, I received issue 270/271 of the Journal of Shintō Studies, and I want to pick up on some points from the articles in it for this blog. This issue isn’t themed, so there is quite a range across the five articles, and all of them have something that I think might be interesting to my readers. The first thing I want to pick up is from “The Tokugawa Shogunate and Amaterasu Ōmikami: The Period of Shōgun Iemitsu”, by Tanido Yūki. The article is a bit more… Read More »The Shōgun and Amaterasu Ōmikami

Silk for Amaterasu Ōmikami

The autumn issue of The Imperial Family included an article on the preparation of silk for a matsuri held at Jingū twice a year, the Kanmisosai. “Kan” is another reading of the “kami” kanji, “miso” means “clothing” here (I haven’t come across this reading anywhere else, although the kanji are standard), and “sai” is matsuri. This matsuri is very unusual at Jingū in that it is only held at the two jinja enshrining Amaterasu Ōmikami: the Goshōgū (main sanctuary) of the Inner Sanctuary, which enshrines her nigimitama, and Aramatsuri no… Read More »Silk for Amaterasu Ōmikami

Jingū Taima Promotion

The November 27th issue of Jinja Shinpō includes an article about an event held at a shopping mall in Saitama Prefecture to promote Jingū Taima. This was part of the prefectural Jinjachō’s general efforts to increase the uptake of Jingū Taima, and ran for six days at a mall that is popular with families with parents in their thirties and forties. On weekdays, there was a display about Jingū, Jingū Taima, and their connections to Saitama, along with an opportunity to identify your local jinja, while at the weekend they… Read More »Jingū Taima Promotion


I have written before on this blog about hemp. Hemp is historically important in Shinto ritual, being used in traditional offerings and purifications, and it is also the plant that produces cannabis. This has caused problems, because Japan’s anti-drug, and anti-cannabis, laws are really strict. They are so strict that, until very recently, it was essentially impossible to get new permission to grow hemp with no psychoactive content. There were a few growers who had been grandfathered in, but they were not finding successors, and sometimes were being strangled by… Read More »Hemp