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sacred forests

Forests at Jingū

I have mentioned before that the magazine The Imperial Family also carries articles about jinja that are not directly connected to the Imperial family. The Summer 2023 issue had such an article, about the forests at Jingū. As readers of this blog are probably at least vaguely aware, Jingū rebuilds all the main sanctuaries once every twenty years, and moves the kami from the old to the new, in the Sengū. The old sanctuaries are then disassembled, and sent to jinja around the country that need new ones. However, even… Read More »Forests at Jingū

A Miscellany

Normally, I find a single topic for these blog posts, but the July 17th issue of Jinja Shinpō had a number of small points that I want to mention, and they have no connection to each other. The first is the editorial, which was inspired by the Marine Day national holiday (July 17th), and talked about how the sacred forests at jinja should be preserved to help preserve the oceans, and about the need to reduce plastic waste. The short piece by a journalist on the front page was about… Read More »A Miscellany

The Significance of OECMs

The editorial in the May 1st issue of Jinja Shinpō was about OECMs, the regions that are not nature reserves but that are recognised under the international biodiversity treaty as serving to preserve biodiversity. It talked a bit about the background, and then noted that, over the last couple of years, there have been a lot of articles on this topic in Jinja Shinpō, including the series on sacred forests. The editorial said that part of the reason was that sacred forests had been given as possible candidates for OECMs… Read More »The Significance of OECMs

Sacred Forests as OECMs

The February 6th issue of Jinja Shinpō had another article about OECMs. These are, to recap, areas of land that are not set aside as nature reserves but, because of the way they are used, serve as a significant refuge for biodiversity. The article reported on two meetings: the latest meeting of the government working group, and a meeting at Jinja Honchō. The government meeting discussed the details of the proposed system for registering OECM areas in Japan. The trial period is coming to an end, and the system will… Read More »Sacred Forests as OECMs

Sacred Forests as OECMs

There were two articles about sacred forests in the October 10th issue of Jinja Shinpō: one on the front page, and one on the back. The back page carried the last article in the series of sacred forest articles, and it was essentially a retrospective. The front page article was about OECMs under the Convention on Biological Diversity. As I have mentioned before “Other Effective Area-based Conservation Measures” refers to areas that are not nature reserves, but which still make an effective contribution to preserving biodiversity. The Japanese government has… Read More »Sacred Forests as OECMs

Sacred Forests of Musashi Province

The article about sacred forests in the August 29th issue of Jinja Shinpō reported on the ongoing activities of a group that is investigating the sacred forests in the area covered by the ancient Musashi province. That area covers much of Tokyo and Saitama prefectures, and a bit of Kanagawa — I live in what was Musashi. Although it covers a lot of extremely urban areas, the northern mountains suffer from depopulation, so it is quite a diverse area. The group is made up of volunteers, and the people who… Read More »Sacred Forests of Musashi Province