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“Tales of Sacred Forests”: Shōri Daimyōjin

Jinja Honchō has put the English version of the next video in the “Tales of Sacred Forests” series online. This is the last one I have done, so there won’t be any more for a while now. My understanding is that the series will continue, but I don’t know the details, and those are the sorts of plans that change. This is an interesting jinja. As you can see, it is very small, it is built on an ancient tomb, and the identity of the enshrined kami is not entirely… Read More »“Tales of Sacred Forests”: Shōri Daimyōjin

Visiting Himeji Jinja

Last week, I went with one of my colleagues from Jinja Honchō to visit Himeji Jinja, and talk in more detail about what they are going to do, and what support they need. This was a day trip, which was a bit of a push because Himeji is about 500 km from where I live. It was also, however, extremely valuable. It really is very helpful to visit a place in person when you are going to write guidance for visitors. For example, this is the view of Himeji Castle… Read More »Visiting Himeji Jinja

Government Grants

I have recently completed some more translation for another jinja as part of my work for Jinja Honchō. This one was a rush job, because the jinja had received a grant from the local government to renovate their toilets, and one condition was that they provide informational signs in four foreign languages: English, Korean, Traditional Chinese, and Simplified Chinese. They were getting a bit close to the deadline. This is interesting for two reasons. First, the local government gave a religious corporation a grant to do something. I am guessing… Read More »Government Grants

Why I Am Not a Priest

Regular readers of this blog probably know that I am not a Shinto priest, even though I work (part-time) for Jinja Honchō. I thought that you might be interested in the reason. The immediate reason is that I have never sought training as a Shinto priest. Jinja Honchō does not license people without their consent, and so I am not licensed. Of course, there is a follow-up question to that, but before I give the answer, there are a couple of things that are not the answer. It is not… Read More »Why I Am Not a Priest

Special Reverence

The project with Himeji Jinja is continuing. I still can’t link to their web page, but we are moving forward on creating it, and the hope is that the Japanese version, at least, will go live before the end of this year. We are planning to have the English material ready for March, so that it will be available when the tourist season starts. As part of this, the jinja wants to offer “tokubetsu sanpai”, which I am currently translating as “special reverence”. This is, basically, a kigansai, where the… Read More »Special Reverence

Tales of Sacred Forests: Gosho Jinja

Jinja Honchō has released the second “Tales of Sacred Forests” video on its YouTube channel. The matsuri introduced in this video is an example of the way in which traditions are being adapted to changing circumstances. My impression is that this is a fairly typical example — which is probably one reason why it was chosen for the video. As before, comments are turned off on the video, but not here. My revisions to the description text to make it easy to reuse also seem to have worked. I have… Read More »Tales of Sacred Forests: Gosho Jinja

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