Association of Shinto Shrines
PredecessorOffice of Japanese Classics Research, Institute of Divinities, Jingu-kyo, National Association of Shinto Priests
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The Association of Shinto Shrines (神社本庁, Jinja Honchō) is a religious administrative organisation that oversees about 80,000 Shinto shrines in Japan. These shrines take the Ise Grand Shrine as the foundation of their belief. It is the largest Shrine Shinto organization in existence.


The association has five major activities, in addition to numerous others:[1]

It currently has an administrative structure including a main office and branches. Its headquarters in Yoyogi, Shibuya, Tokyo, adjacent to Meiji Shrine. Its leadership includes the Sosai (総裁), the head priestess of the Ise Shrine,[citation needed] presently Sayako Kuroda.[2] The tōri (統理) is Kuniaki Kuni, and the post of sōchō (総長) or Secretary-General is currently held by Masami Yatabe, the chief priest of the Mishima Shrine. The association maintains regional offices in every prefecture. They handle financial and personnel matters for member shrines.


The Association of Shinto Shrines is the largest Shinto religious group in Japan, and more than 79,000 of the approximately 80,000 Japanese shrines, including major ones, are members.[3] Each prefecture has a shrine office [4][3]. It is the successor to the Institute of Divinities, which was an external agency of the Home Ministry,[5] and is a comprehensive religious corporation based on the Religious Corporation Law.

In Article 3 of the "Regulations of the Religious Corporation 'Jinja Honcho' Agency," the regulations of the Agency as a religious corporation, the purpose of the Agency is to manage and guide shrines under its jurisdiction, promote Shinto, perform shrine rituals, educate and foster believers (Ujiko), support Ise Shrine, the head shrine, train priests, and conduct public relations through the publication and distribution of pamphlets, among other activities. The shrine is also involved in public relations activities through the publication and distribution of pamphlets.


Association of Shinto Shrine Charter

The Association of Shinto Shrines is a comprehensive religious corporation of about 80,000 companies nationwide. Each shrine has its own history, and there are various religious beliefs such as Yawata belief and Inari belief, and it was very difficult to establish one doctrine. Therefore , on May 21, 1980 (Showa 55), the "Association of Shinto Shrine Charter" was established by a decision of the Councilors. The background and position of this is stated in the preamble, "The important concern to date has been to establish and maintain basic norms as a tie for spiritual integration." At the time of enforcement of this Charter, the agency rules and previous rules, etc. shall be deemed to have been established based on this Charter. "

Article 1 states, "The Association of Shinto Shrines respects tradition, promotes rituals and promotes morality, prays for the prosperity of the great lord, and contributes to the peace of the four seas."

Platform for Respectful Life

Prior to the "Association of Shinto Shrine Charter", the "Platform of Respectful Life" was enacted in 1956 to show the practical spirit of the Association of Shinto Shrines.

Shinto is an eternal road of heaven and earth, and is the basis for cultivating a noble spirit and opening the Taihei.

It is the reason for achieving the mission to be afraid of the gods, to follow the ancestral lessons, to finally demonstrate the essence of the road, and to promote the welfare of humankind. It is hoped that this code will be put up here to clarify the direction and to put it into practice and proclaim the road.

To thank God for the grace and grace of our ancestors, to attend rituals with a clear and clean spirit, to serve for the sake of the world, and to create and solidify the world as the will of God.

We pray for the coexistence and co-prosperity of the country and the world.

There is no codified doctrine in the Association of Shinto Shrines, but according to the "Commentary on the Charter of the Association of Shinto Shrines", the Association of Shinto Shrines is the spirit of its establishment and activities with the "Association of Shinto Shrines" and the "Platform of Respectful Life".[6]


The Association was established following the Surrender of Japan at the end of World War II. On 15 December 1945, the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (SCAP) issued the Shinto Directive, ordering the Disestablishment of Shinto as a state religion. On February 2, 1946, to comply with the SCAP order, three organizations – the Kōten Kōkyūjo (皇典講究所), Dainippon Jingikai (大日本神祇会), and Jingū Hōsaikai (神宮奉斎会) – established the nongovernmental Association, assuming the functions of the Institute of Divinities, a branch of the Home Ministry.

In accordance with the Shinto Directive, 1946 (Showa21) January 23, National Association of Shinto Priests, the Office of Japanese Classics Research, and the Jingūkyō, took the lead to establish the Jinja Honcho.[7][8]

Political links

The Association has many contacts within the Liberal Democratic Party and is a successful lobbyist; its influence can be seen in recent conservative legislation, like the legal recognition of the National Flag (Hinomaru) and National Anthem (Kimigayo), their use for official school events, or the revision of Fundamental Education Law, and it is behind some actions by conservative politicians, like visits to Yasukuni Shrine by Junichirō Koizumi, then Prime Minister of Japan.[9]

See also


  2. ^ Japan Times
  3. ^ a b 『宗教年鑑』平成19年 2-4ページ
  4. ^ 神社本庁 神社庁一覧
  5. ^ "神社庁とは". 岡山県神社庁. Retrieved 2020-05-04.
  6. ^ 神社本庁教学研究室編『神社本庁憲章の解説』神社本庁、1985
  7. ^ 中山 2009, p. 231.
  8. ^ 文化庁編さん 2011, pp. 54–61.
  9. ^ Mullins, Mark R (2012). "Secularization, Deprivatization, and the Reappearance of 'Public Religion' in Japanese Society". Journal of Religion in Japan. 1: 61–82. doi:10.1163/221183412X628442.



This article incorporates material in 神社本庁 (Jinja Honchō) in the Japanese Wikipedia, retrieved on January 27, 2008, and May 22, 2022[circular reference]