Jinja Honcho (Association of Shinto Shrines)
Jinja Honcho (Association of Shinto Shrines) is a religious organization which administrates about 80,000 Shinto Shrines throughout Japan. The objectives of Jinja Honcho are: 1) to guide member shrines in terms of administration, 2) to preserve traditional Shinto rituals and festivals, as well as promoting traditional moral, 3) to pray for prosperous development of Japanese society, 4) and to contribute in establishing everlasting world peace.
Jinja Honcho considers information service to be one of very important tasks in order to fulfill above objectives.
It has also subsidiary offices in each prefecture so that it can work for local development. Jinja Honcho and its prefectural offices (Jinjacho) are open to public to receive any questions on Shinto, Shrines, and Shinto festivals.
Jinja Honcho was formed with consensus of all the Shinto shrines throughout Japan in February, 1946. Prior to this, Japan terminated the Second World War on the 15th of August, 1945, accepting the Potsdam Declaration by the Allied Forces.
The occupation authorities came right after the end of the war issued the Shinto Directive on December 15th, 1945 in accordance with their reformation plan of the Japanese government, and ordered the separation of the religion from the state.
Upon this order, three non-government Shinto organizations, namely Kotenko Kyusho, Dai-Nihon Jingikai, and Jingu Hosankai, cooperated to form urgently a voluntary organization now known as Jinja Honcho, in order to preserve the Japanese religious tradition.
Major Activities of Jinja Honcho
- Public Information Services on the Shrine Shinto
- Performance of rituals
- Educational activities for Shinto followers
- Reverence of the Grand Shrine of Ise and distribution of its amulets
- Education and training of Shinto priests
There are two universities, namely Kokugakuin University in Tokyo and Kogakkan University in Mie prefecture which have the faculty of Shinto Studies, are designated by Jinja Honcho as high educational institutes for Shinto priests. There are also several training centers affiliated to several shrines.
- Publication and distribution of leaflets, books on the Shrine Shinto
- Other activities appropriate to the Shrine Shinto
Library of Jinja Honcho
Jinja Honcho has the library which stores about 28,000 books related to Shinto. These books are offered for public perusal at the reference room. The copy and lending services are available upon request.