There are several reasons why I’ve got Shinto on my mind, in some form or another, every day. I do research on religion and warfare in 16th century Japan. I am a faculty member at Kōgakkan University, which is connected with one of Japan’s most sacred sites in the Shinto religious tradition. And, I teach a course called “Shinto English” to priests in training. But, even though I encounter Japan’s religious traditions in my daily life, it’s still challenging to express things in English, so I benefit a lot from the research done by others, and I really appreciate all of the effort that they have put into sharing their work online. This isn’t an attempt at comprehensively indexing everything on the Internet; instead, it’s mainly a list of things I’ve come across and found useful.
Explanations of Terms and Concepts
- Encyclopedia of Shinto (Kokugakuin University 國學院大学)
- Encyclopedia of Shinto (Kokugakuin University 國學院大学): No longer maintained, but has videos and other content unavailable on the updated site
- Basic Terms of Shinto (Kokugakuin University 國學院大学)
- Overview of a Shrine (Kokugakuin University 國學院大学)
- Encyclopedia of Shinto: Chronological Supplement 『神道事典』巻末年表、英語版 (Kokugakuin University 國學院大学)
Shrines and Shrine Etiquette
- “Temizuya”: The Cleansing Ritual: This page includes a nice video of the ablution ritual.
- My Shinto (Kokugakuin University 國學院大学): A website connected to a course taught by Norman Havens.
- Brief articles about Shinto (Kokugakuin University 國學院大学): Readers of the Japan News newspaper may recognize some of these articles by faculty at Kokugakuin University. Topics include the “myth of ‘Tenson Kōrin （by: Taniguchi Masahiro 谷口雅博),'” “offering money at shrines (by: Ogawa Naoyuki 小川直之),” and “ ablutions performed at temizusha (by: Suga Kōji 菅浩二).”
- Harae – purification rites (BBC)
The Association of Shinto Shrines / Jingū
- Soul of Japan: A booklet about Shinto published by the Association of Shinto Shrines (Jinja Honchō 神社本庁), the umbrella organization that manages most of Japan’s shrines.
- Irei: A booklet about ceremonies for the deceased.
- Ise Jingu Explanation: A booklet by Otowa Satoru (a priest at Ise Jingū).
Published Research (no paywalls)
- Falero, Alfonso (2000). “Why is Shinto Research Important Now?” (a talk)
- Gadeleva, Emilia (2000). “Susanoo: One of the Central Gods in Japanese Mythology.”
- Hara Kazuya (2003). “Aspects of Shinto in Japanese Communication.”
- Ishida, Sarah Spaid (2008). The Making of an American Shinto Community (MA thesis)
- Moerman, Max (2018) “Underground Buddhism : The Subterranean Landscape of the Ise Shrines.” (dead link at the moment, but it is also available here)
- Rots, Aike (2013). Forests of the Gods (PhD thesis)
- Scheid, Bernhard (2002). “Shinto as a Religion for the Warrior Class.”
- Sharma, Nitasha (2015). “Perception of life and death in Japan”
- Teeuwen, Mark (2000). “Nakatomi Harae Kunge: Purification and Enlightenment in Late-Heian Japan.”
- Teeuwen, Mark (2003). “From Jindo to Shinto.”