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Home » 3. Institutions and Administrative Practices » Modern and Contemporary
Jingiin
The Jingiin (Institute of Divinities) was an organ for the administration of shrine affairs attached the Home Ministry; it was created according to Imperial Rescript 736 on November 9, 1940. The director of the Institute was the Home Minister, beneath whom were an assistant director and various specialist staff dealing with general administration, doctrinal affairs and ritual affairs. The specific responsibilities allocated to the Institute were four-fold: 1) the Ise shrines; 2) other shrines including imperial and national shrines (kankoku heisha) and shrines of lower ranks; 3) shrine priests and officials (shinkan, shinshoku) and 4) the dissemination of reverence for the kami. In other words, the Institute of Divinities took over the several tasks of the Bureau of Shrines (Jinja Kyoku). The notable addition to its responsibility was the fourth task of disseminating reverence for the kami.
       The Jingiin was not merely an expansion or promotion of the status of its predecessor, the Bureau of Shrines. Rather, inspired by the kokutai meichō undō (Clarification of the National Polity Movement) launched in 1935, and in a marked shift in its essential character, it now assumed a role in the propagation and cultivation of doctrine and ideology relating to the kami in addition to its function as the administrator of deities. That being said, the Institute's publication of a range of material on revering the deities and its publication of the Jinja hongi (The Essence of Shrines) in 1944 placed the Institute in competition with the propaganda activities of the Education Ministry (Monbushō) and the Bureau of Doctrine (Kyōgaku Kyoku), which were directed specifically at explicating the kokutai (national polity). The Institute's publications were milder in their ideological tone compared, say, to the Education Ministry's Kokutai no hongi (Cardinal Principles of the National Polity), published in 1937. Moreover, the Institute produced several publications of considerable academic quality. For example, Hashimoto Shinkichi, a renowned philologist, published his great work Kodai kokugo on'in ni tsuite (On the Phonology of Ancient Japanese) in the Institute's series of publications dealing with revering the kami. This is symbolic of the fact that the Institute's propaganda activities need to be distinguished in terms of content and character from those of the Education Ministry and the Bureau of Doctrine. There were therefore notable academic achievements in the Institute's publication and propaganda activities. However, when it came to the major purpose of the Institute's creation — namely the systematic reorganization of shrine administration including the merging of unranked shrines — the Institute achieved little. With much remaining to be done, the Institute was abolished in February 1946 after just five years of operation.

— Sakamoto Koremaru
"Establishment of a National Learning Institute for the Dissemination of Research on Shinto and Japanese Culture"
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URL http://21coe.kokugakuin.ac.jp/
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