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Jinja Kentei (The Shinto Culture Exam)

Jinja Kentei was started three years ago, and is run by the Foundation for Promoting Japanese Culture, which is extremely closely associated with Association of Shinto Shrines. (I suspect that there are legal reasons, to do with the regulations for religious corporations and secular foundations, for having two organisations, but I don’t know.) The Association of Shinto Shrines is overseeing the examination, with the goal of spreading accurate knowledge about Shinto and jinja. The examination for Jinja Kentei is, of course, held only in Japanese, and is based on Japanese… Read More »Jinja Kentei (The Shinto Culture Exam)

Shinto Concerns

Today, I want to introduce some of the topics that Shinto priests and practitioners are actively concerned with. To do that, I’m going to provide extremely short summaries of all the articles in one issue of Jinja Shinpo. Jinja Shinpo is a weekly newspaper, published by a company that is effectively controlled by the Association of Shinto Shrines. It is not exactly the house journal, but it is close. This is not the only approach to Shinto found in Japan, but it is arguably the most important. The issue I’m… Read More »Shinto Concerns

Shinzo Abe’s Visit to Yasukuni Jinja

This post is not directly concerned with Kannagara, but it is concerned with a very important aspect of contemporary Shinto — its connection with the ultranationalism and militarism of Japan in the Second World War. This is an aspect that, as least to start with, I plan to avoid in the game, but it is something that anyone interested in Shinto needs to be aware of. You may have gathered from the news that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Yasukuni Jinja on December 26th. (See the Guardian, the BBC,… Read More »Shinzo Abe’s Visit to Yasukuni Jinja