Online shrines
December 18th, 2006

“Does god exist in cyberspace?Japanese are split on the issue as an increasing number of Shinto shrines offer virtual visits on Web sites and sell amulets online,”this smh report says.”Alarmed by the services, the Tokyo-based Association of Shinto Shrines plans to issue either a report or guidelines next year on shrines’ use of the Internet, the Yomiuri Shimbun daily said in its English edition on Sunday.The group, which supervises around 80,000 shrines across the country, sent out notices in July saying: “No Shinto god exists on the internet.””Shinto gods are enshrined in a place and space of a shrine, and therefore it’s fundamental for worshippers to actually visit the shrine,” Yoshiya Senoo, chief of the association’s research division, was quoted as saying.Some shrines, however, see no problem with online worshipping.”Young people in particular use the service and in many cases it leads to them actually visiting our shrine,” Hideo Morikuni, chief priest of Shingu Shrine in southern Japan, told Reuters by telephone”

Online shrine visits stir debate in Japan

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