現代都市文化と神木伐採を巡る諸問題

Translated title of the contribution: Contemporary Japanese Urban Culture and Issues Surrounding the Felling of Shinboku

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

Abstract

One thing that cannot be dismissed when considering the urban structure of Japan is the presence of Shinto shrines. Many Shinto shrines have a shrine forest attached to their premises. In Shinto, which has nature worship at its core, as seen in the word 'kannabi', man-made structures such as shrine buildings are recent objects, and it is the natural spaces such as forests that are of great significance. In particular, some shrines with long histories regard forests, rocks, waterfalls and mountains as objects of worship. Among these, shinboku are probably familiar to the general public. In a narrow sense, they are trees that are the object of veneration as the body of a deity or as a place of worship, but in a broader sense, they also include those that mark the boundary between the sacred and secular realms, those that have symbolic significance for shrines and kami, and those that make up the shrine forest, all of which are regarded as sacred and should not be cut down. When felling for purposes such as the provision of timber for the rebuilding of shrine buildings, this is done after a ritual to ask kami permission. For example, the existence of the Misoma-yama, which is used to supply timber for the Grand Shrines (Ise-jingu) is well known. On the other hand, in recent years, there have been reported cases of disputes between shrines, businesses and citizens in both cases, whether it is the felling of shinboku that are the sacred body or part of the shrine forest. It is well known that in 2023, a protest by citizens' groups against the redevelopment of the outer gardens of the Meiji Grand Shrine led to the issuing of a Heritage Alert by the ICOMOS. Shinboku felling around Japan are not only associated with the redevelopment of areas such as the Meiji Grand Shrine, but also with the dangers posed by deterioration and overgrowth, and with the economic situation of shrines. In the Religious Corporations Act, decisions on tree felling are to be taken by the board of responsible officers. Nevertheless, conflicts between the decision of the responsible officers and the ujiko, worshippers, and other citizens may arise because they often have a sense of respect for the environment, cultural heritage and faith, or because there is a danger to the area's safety. Not only the preservation of trees but also the safety and income of shrines are important aspects of religious activities. Many shrines are in a difficult economic situation due to depopulation and a decline in the number of ujiko due to the falling birthrate and ageing population, and the number of shrines with concurrent priests is expected to increase. This paper will introduce some examples, starting with the campaign against deforestation following the policy of shrine enshrinement after the Meiji Restoration and continuing up to the present, and examine the connection between local beliefs and shrines through shinboku from the perspective of religious sociology and cultural heritage preservation.
Translated title of the contributionContemporary Japanese Urban Culture and Issues Surrounding the Felling of Shinboku
Original languageOther
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Apr 2024
EventThe 13th International Symposium on Japanese Studies: Urban Culture and Nature in Japan - University of Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania
Duration: 5 Apr 20246 Apr 2024
https://meet.google.com/mqq-fqju-yww?authuser=0

Conference

ConferenceThe 13th International Symposium on Japanese Studies
Country/TerritoryRomania
CityBucharest
Period5/04/246/04/24
Internet address

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