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Home » 6. Belief and Practice » Associations and Organizations
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 organization. Since groups that have been called these names can be seen in several forms, when trying to classify them, first of all, there is a basic division: there are permanent standing organizations, and there are organizations which have been temporarily established to take care of things like shrine construction or commemorative events or large festivals (ōmatsuri). The latter ones are established in cases where particularly large sums of collections are necessary, but they are organizations that are dissolved as soon as the goal has been accomplished. The standing organizations pay for or help pay for the usual costs and focus on the overall customary shrine festival events. They also bear the function of holding activities for edification, but their forms and their scale are of varying sizes. They take as their foundation the organization of the local residents of the traditional ujiko district's neighborhood association (chōnaikai). Nevertheless, although they are nominally independent, they are essentially inside and out the same thing as the neighborhood association and so these organizations are operated just like the other ones. However, some are clearly independent from the traditional neighborhood associations and ujiko organizations, and are large organizations whose constituents also include people from outside the ujiko district/parish. Observing the formation process, because of the postwar Shintō Directive (shintō shirei) and the shrines' religious corporation changes we see there are many sūkeikai that have started to separate from the former neighborhood associations, and especially in the cases of those shrines that originally had no ujiko, organizational efforts and progress have been quite swifter. Furthermore, there are cases in which and kōsha organizations that had come into existence in the early modern period or had been established after the Great Promulgation campaign (taikyō senpu) of the Meiji period developed into sūkeikai. Among the sūkeikai, one that is large and well-known is the Meiji Jingū sūkeikai. This sūkeikai first met in June of 1946. It was founded while still under the occupation and with the shrine grounds still in ruins from war damage. The organization made its primary goal to "support the operation of the shrine." In 1960 after the restoration of the shrine building, by active sponsorship, they assembled worshippers for the promotion of the august virtues of the enshrined kami of the Meiji Emperor. Based on this group, the organization has expanded their activities into propagational activities in society and reviving the spirit of the Meiji period. Next, a representative of one organization having the title of hōsankai is the Grand Shrine of Ise's "Jingū Hōsankai." This organization was established in December of 1953 which saw the completion of the rebuilding of the shrine buildings (shikinen sengū) for the fifty ninth time , and it continues as a juridical foundation to this day.

— Sano Kazufumi
"Establishment of a National Learning Institute for the Dissemination of Research on Shinto and Japanese Culture"
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