Religion in Modern Asia Newsletter

Three-Year Plan for Shinto Activities


According to the August 17 issue of the Jinja Shinpo, the Association of Shinto Shrines held an executive board meeting on July 30, at which time it decided on a three-year plan for religious activities by Shinto shrines throughout Japan. Focusing on the upcoming 61st Regular Renewal at the Grand Shrine of Ise (fall, 1993), central elements of the plan include a "review of traditional Japanese values, and activities of edification and teaching responding to issues of the global natural environment, human rights, and internationalization."

According to the report, the Association' s plan is based on its fundamental goal of inculcating the concepts that Shinto is central to Japanese ethnic identity, that the core of Shinto is found in Japanese traditional values, and that such traditional values can play an important role in the solution of problems confronting modern Japanese society.

Upon this basis, three general issues or areas of activity were defined in the plan, including (1) an ongoing movement to support the upcoming Regular Removal of the Grand Shrine of Ise and promote acceptance of Jingu amulets by citizens throughout Japan; (2) strict observance of religious rites and education regarding their true significance; (3) inculcation of veneration for the emperor and the imperial family.

Specific new areas of activity noted in the plan include the nurturing of a new strata of young leaders, participation in international exchange and cooperation by members of the Shinto community, and activities aiming at the promoting a proper appreciation of Shinto by foreign residents of Japan.

In response to international concerns for the natural environment, the plan is also to include instructions to Shinto shrines, encouraging them to play a role in the improvement of their environments by protecting and fostering the "sacred groves" (shinju no mori) that commonly surround shrines.

-- Aug 1, 1992, Norman HAVENS

Last updated: 2001/11/28 14:33:45

Copyright © 2001 Institute for Japanese Culture and Classics, Kokugakuin University. All Rights Reserved.