International Shinto


International Shinto

There are now quite a few groups on facebook, Shinto or Inari Faith . . .


- quote
Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America (sometimes known as Tsubaki America Jinja or in Japanese as amerika tsubaki ōkamiyashiro (アメリカ椿大神社) is the first Shinto shrine built in the mainland United States. It was erected in 1987 in Stockton, California, and moved to its current location in Granite Falls, Washington in 2001.

Gosaijin (enshrined Kami/Spirits) of Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America are: Sarutahiko-no-O-Kami, ancestor of all earthly Kami and Kami of progressing positively in harmony with Divine Nature; and his wife Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto, Kami of arts and entertainment, harmony, meditation and joy. Also enshrined at Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America are: Amaterasu OmiKami (Kami of the Sun), Ugamitama-no-O-Kami (Kami of foodstuffs and things to sustain human life/Oinarisama), America Kokudo Kunitama-no-Kami (protector of North America Continent) and Ama-no-Murakumo-Kuki-Samuhara-Ryu-O (Kami of Aikido).

Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America is a branch of Tsubaki Ōkami Yashiro, one of the oldest and most notable shrines in Japan, which celebrated its 2000th anniversary in 1997.

The current Guji (Head Priest) of Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America is Rev. Koichi Barrish, the second non-Japanese priest in Shinto history.
- source : wikipedia


Ema from Tsubaki Grand Shrine

Tsubaki America Ema / アメリカ椿大神社 絵馬
Ema depicting Sarutahiko-no-O-Kami standing between Tsubaki Grand Shrine in Mie,

Tenson Korin Ema
Ema depicting the primal meeting of Sarutahiko-no-O-Kami and Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto during the movement of Ninigi-no-Mikoto from the High Plain of Heaven to Earth

Tenson Korin Ema

- More ema and information
- source : www.tsubakishrine.org


- quote
Florian Wiltschko
Details are emerging now of the breakthrough Austrian priest, who has been appointed through Jinja Honcho to a position at a shrine in Shibuya.

The 25 year old is from Linz in Austria, and first became interested in Japan and Shinto when seeing a picture at age 4 or 5 of the ‘asagutsu‘ black wooden shoes used by priests. It was the beginning of a lifelong fascination.

By the age of 14 Wiltschko had a kamidana in his room and was keen to know more about Japanese culture and history. He studied Kojiki, and by high school he had already formed a resolution to become a Shinto priest. Accordingly he went to do Japanese Studies at Vienna University, to become proficient in the language.

In 2001 Wiltschko got to know Handa Shigeru, the head priest of Ueno Tenmangu Shrine in Nagoya after making enquiries through their English-language website. The head priest later commented that while many foreigners asked questions about Shinto, those of Wiltschko were unusual in being particularly detailed and persistent. Their exchanges lasted for six years, before Handa Shigeru invited the young Austrian to become an apprentice.
- source : www.greenshinto.com/wp - 2013

- quote - Japan Times June 2014
Blue-eyed Austrian finds calling at shrine
27-year-old Florian Wiltschko is Japan's first foreign Shinto priest
by Mami Maruko

Walking through the torii, or gateway, to the quiet and serene Konnoh Hachimangu Shrine in Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward — minutes away from the hustle and bustle of Shibuya’s main “scramble crossing” — and being welcomed by a blond and blue-eyed Shinto priest seems almost surreal.
But once Florian Wiltschko starts talking, it is easy to forget that he is an Austrian, and that he started his career at the shrine two years ago.
“It was a calling,” says Wiltschko, a “gonnegi,” or priest, in a clear-toned voice.
Wiltschko, 27, is the first foreigner in Japan to become a Shinto priest.

“Walking this path (of Shintoism) has not been so easy, but there are many more days when I feel unparalleled joy in having chosen this job, and being able to continue this job,” he says in fluent Japanese.
Although Wiltschko put a lot of time, energy and study into becoming a priest, he says he didn’t intend to become one at first but the idea came quite naturally to him.
Born and raised in Linz, the third biggest town in Austria, Wiltschko had no connection to Japan at all before paying his first visit to the country in 2002, at age 15, when he accompanied his father, a geography teacher, on a sightseeing tour.
During his first visit, he bought a Shinto altar because he thought it was an interesting object, and installed it in his home back in Austria.
He then went back to Austria to study Japanology at the University of Vienna, where he read a lot of books on the country, including “Kojiki” (“Records of Ancient Matters”), which he read in its original form, in Japanese.
He later returned to Japan to study Shintoism at Kokugakuin University in  Tokyo.
Wiltschko wakes up at 5:30 a.m. along with his fellow priests and does chores around the shrine, such as cleaning the rooms and the grounds, and preparing breakfast to offer at the altar. During the day, he offers different kinds of “matsuri,” or festivals, at the shrine.
“Some people just stop by at the shrine to have tobacco or a bento (boxed lunch), which is very sad,” he says, adding that he would like the Japanese to regain their common sense and conscience to protect and live in harmony with nature, which is deeply embedded in its culture.
He says he will continue to be a Shinto priest for the rest of his life.

“I look forward to finding out what I can do with my career in the future. Perhaps I can nurture or educate the next generation through my career and activities at the shrine,” he says.

“I don’t have any grandiose vision, like I want to change Japanese society or the shrine or something,” Wiltschko says. “But I just want to devote myself to my career, enjoy the process of developing as a human being, and see where I end up.”
- source : www.japantimes.co.jp


International Inari
One of the exciting developments that Green Shinto is able to participate in is the spread of Shinto overseas. Such is the age we live in that this is happening step by step before our very eyes, as it were, and recent months have seen the establishment of an International Association for Inari Faith with a Facebook page, together with what is probably the first ‘private’ maintenance by a non-Japanese overseas of a wakemitama (divided spirit) of Inari Okami.
In the interview below, the person behind all this, Gary Cox, explains the nature and purpose of the new association.

1) When and why was the International Association for Inari Faith set up?
Read the full interview here :
source : www.greenshinto.com/wp - John D


- Reference : 国際神道 - kokusai Shinto

Shinto Kokusai Gakkai
International Shinto Foundation - New York
- Reference : International Shinto

. Shrine, Shinto Shrine (jinja 神社) - Introduction .




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