Jinja Honcho

Jinja Honcho

Jinja Honcho (the Association of Shinto Shrine) is a religious administrative organization that oversees about 80,000 Shinto shrines throughout Japan. The objectives of Jinja Honcho are: 1) to guide member shrines with administration, 2) to preserve traditional Shinto rituals and festivals, as well as promoting traditional morals, 3) to pray for the prosperous development of Japanese society, 4) and to contribute in establishing everlasting world peace.

Jinja Honcho considers the public information service to be one of the most important tasks to fulfill the above objectives.

It has also subsidiary offices in each prefecture in order to closely work with officials on local shrine issues. Jinja Honcho and its prefectural offices (Jinjacho) are open to the public to receive any questions on Shinto, shrines, and Shinto festivals.

Historical Background

Jinja Honcho was formed with the consensus of all the Shinto shrines throughout Japan in February, 1946. Prior to this, Shinto shrines were legally defined as places where Japanese people were obliged to pay their respects, regardless of religion. However, following the end of World WarⅡ, Shinto shrines were legally separated from the State and were forced to be re-established as a non-governmental association. Under these circumstances, Jinja Honcho was established in order to preserve Japanese religious tradition.

Major Activities of Jinja Honcho

  1. Public information services on Shinto and shrines
  2. Performance of rituals
  3. Educational activities for Shinto followers
  4. Reverence of the Grand Shrine of Ise and distribution of its amulets
  5. Education and training of Shinto priests
  6. Publication and distribution of leaflets, books on Shinto and shrines