Published A Journey through Time at Jingu

Today I received a copy of a translation that I just finished with the title A Journey through Time at Jingu. I’ve been working on it for a few months and it is nice to finally see it in print.

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In 2014, my colleagues at Kōgakkan University 皇學館大学 published a book with the title Sengū roman: Ise futari tabi『遷宮浪漫』〜伊勢ふたり旅〜 about a ritual called “the regular moving of the deities” 式年遷宮 (shikinen sengū). In the shikinen sengū, an exact duplicate of Jingu 神宮, the country’s most sacred shrine complex, is constructed every 20 years, then priests move the kami 神 (deities) from their old sanctuaries into the newly built ones, and at the end of the process, the old buildings are completely dismantled. It’s a massive undertaking that has been performed for about 1,300 years now.

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For the last few months, I’ve been working with one of the authors (Sakurai Haruo 櫻井治男) to translate, re-arrange, and add content to the book in order to re-publish it as a bilingual edition with material for a non-Japanese speaking audience. This is the result.

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I think there is a lot in the book that will be of interest to both general readers first hearing about Jingu as well as scholars who are quite familiar with it. I certainly learned a lot from doing the project. Hopefully, it will also be a useful companion to have on any visit to Ise-Shima or the shrine. The other day, the university president met with the governor of Mie Prefecture to hand him a copy — perhaps the publicity will help to get it into the hands of folks visiting for the Ise-Shima Summit.

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We’re working on getting it out to Amazon, but at the moment it is only available from Kōgakkan Service 皇學館サービス (k-service@kogakkan.co.jp)/ FAX(0596-22-8562)/ PHONE(0596-22-8561). You can use this form to order it.

By the way, the calligraphy on the front cover (and in the main text) was written by me. The character on the right is kami / jin (deity) and the one on the left is miya / gū (palace or religious building). Together, they are read as “Jin-goo.”

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