Encyclopedia of Shinto Kokugakuin University
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Associations and Organizations


Jinin

After the end of the ancient period, and mainly in the case of medieval shrines, this term referred to a member of the kannushi's or gūji (chief priest)'s shrine workers. This was the name for the attendants or low level shrine priests responsible for religious or administrative duties and var...

This term indicates a group of people holding similar beliefs, but as in the manner of a mutual financing business or loan association, the group is also diverted toward economic goals. The origin of kō lies in the name of Heian period Buddhist text reading and study (kōdoku) conducted by...

Miyaza

The specially empowered festival group in the village concerned with shrine festivities. The words "za" and "zashū" can be seen in historical data from the eleventh century; however, the word miyaza cannot be found in historical data which can be verified to be from the medieval period, but it...

Oshi

Religious functionaries attached to specific shrines and temples who guide visitors (sankei) through that shrine or temple and accommodate them by providing prayer (kitō), lodgings, and the like. They are called this because of a shortening of the original term okitōshi. They first appear...

Sendatsu

Originally this indicated advanced practitioners of various studies, arts and crafts, and ascetic practices; however, from the end of the Heian period it came to indicate religious practitioners who acted as guides, leading believers to holy mountains and shrines and temples. After the middle of th...

Sōdai

The name referring to someone who represents other believers. It is used throughout religion, but as it concerns Shinto it is a person other than a priest (shinshoku) who plays the role of a sponsor or a representative and who comes from among the ujiko (shrine parishioners) or sūkeisha (worsh...

Sūkeikai

An organization made up of ujiko, sūkeisha (worshippers coming from outside the shrine parish), and other believers, which was organized in order to perform shrine support, construction, or edification (kyōka) activities. The term hōsankai is also used to describe the same sort of or...

Tōya

At times of shrine festivals or kō events, this term refers to the people who take care of those rituals and events, or it refers to their families. Sometimes just "tō" is used as designation, and in many cases it is written (not Ƭ). Tō refers to the supervisor or caretaker o...

Ujiko

Generally, a group from the land surrounding the areas dedicated to the belief in and worship of one shrine; or, the constituents of that group. Because that shrine's kami is called the ujigami, the corresponding term ujiko is used. There is another term for ujiko, sūkeisha, but often it is th...





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