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journal of shinto studies

Kidnap Matsuri

One article in the April 2022 issue of the Journal of Shintō Studies was about the Naoi Matsuri at Owari Ōkunitama Jinja. This matsuri was revised by the local daimyo in the 18th century, and the revised version is still held today — it is famous as a “naked festival”, which means loincloths only. The main interest of the article is in the contribution that a particular person, an important scholar, made to the revision. It was known that he did contribute, but the documents he submitted have been lost.… Read More »Kidnap Matsuri

Terminal Care

The April 2022 issue of the Journal of Shintō Studies included an article asking “Why Has Shinto Not Been Engaged in Terminal Care?”, by Kaneda Iyo. This is a reasonable question: Christian and Buddhist clergy have been, and are, deeply involved in care for the dying, but Shinto priests are not, and never have been. The contrast needs an explanation. She splits the reason into three broad causes. The first is the social role of Shinto priests. The job of a priest is to perform matsuri for the kami, and… Read More »Terminal Care


I recently received the latest issue of the Journal of Shintō Studies (April 2022), which contains several interesting articles. This post, however, is inspired by something mentioned in passing in one of them. The article itself is about the function and origin of tamagushi, and I have already written about that research, because a summary of an earlier stage was published a year or so ago. The bit I want to pick up concerns “tasuki”. This is the Japanese for a sash: a loop of cloth worn over one shoulder… Read More »Tasuki

The Function of Tamagushi

It may occasionally seem on this blog as if I learn everything I know about Shinto from Jinja Shinpō. That is not quite true, as I will demonstrate today. I am also a member of the Society of Shintō Studies, an academic society based at Kokugakuin University, and so I get their journal, The Journal of Shintō Studies, or Shintō Shūkyō in Japanese. (The literal translation would be “Shinto Religion”, but that is not the official English title.) The articles are often extremely interesting, and I want to pick up… Read More »The Function of Tamagushi

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