International Institute for the Study of Religions
Religious Information Research Center
"Religious Articles Select 5" is the contents that introduce the Religious News Digest in Japan. All articles are picked up by Prof. Nobutaka Inoue who is the chief of RIRC, and selceted from the last "RIRC REPORT"; the publication for our members by the seasons.
The former president of the Association of Shinto Shrines (Jinja Honcho), Mr. KUDO Izu, passed away at the age of eighty-three.
Koyasan University announced it would inaugurate Japan’s first course in Spiritual Care next fiscal year. The course is designed to train personnel in care for the “aching souls of modern man,” capable of responding to suffering caused by serious illness or grief caused by the suicide of a close relative.
Dr. HOSHINO Hideki, president of Taisho University, was elected as the new director of the Japanese Association for Religious Studies. He will be serving in this function for the next three years.
The former honorary president of the Association of Shinto Shrines (Jinja Honcho), Mr. HOSOKAWA Morisada, passed away at the age of ninety-three.
Due to bankruptcy, Tataragakuen High School in Hofu city, Yamaguchi Prefecture, which has a history serving as a training facility for teachers in the Soto School of Japanese Buddhism, filed for bankruptcy rehabilitation under the Civil Reorganization Law with the Tokyo District Court, and the application was accepted.
A man carrying a blade broke into the Amida Hall at the temple Nishi Honganji in Kyoto, spilling kerosene on the tatami mats inside the temple hall. The man was finally arrested on suspicion of violation against the Firearms and Sword Possession Control Law. The man testified that he “could not tolerate Nishi Honganji’s opposition to prime minister Koizumi’s public visits to Yasukuni Shrine, and wanted to protest against the temple’s position.”
Prime minister KOIZUMI Junichiro’s private advisory body “The Advisory Council on the Imperial Household Law” led by chairperson YOSHIKAWA Hiroyuki accepted unanimously the succession rights of imperial daughters and the right of offspring of mothers in the direct bloodline of an emperor to ascend to the imperial throne.
As the expiration of the surveillance measures enacted against Aum Shinrikyo at the end of January 2006 drew nearer, the Liaison Conference of Cities, Towns and Villages Against Aum Shinrikyo, lead by the mayor of Suginami Ward in Tokyo, Mr. YAMADA Hiroshi, filed a request for the extension of surveillance measures with the Public Security Investigation Agency and other organs.
An alliance of one-hundred thirty parliamentarians recruited from members of the Liberal Democratic Party, the New Komeito Party, and the Democratic Party of Japan, urging the government to create a non-religious state site for the commemoration of the war dead formed the “Association for the Consideration of a National Memorial Site.” Mr. YAMAZAKI Taku, former vice-president of the Liberal Democratic Party, is acting as the association’s head.
The wedding ceremony between Mr. KURODA Yoshiki and princess Norinomiya was held at the Imperial Hotel. The ceremony was attended by the emperor, the empress, the crown prince, his wife, the imperial family, former members of the imperial family, and was performed based on Shinto ritual by head priest KITASHIRAKAWA Michihisa of the Grand Shrines of Ise.
Leaders of the various Christian denominations in Africa met in Zambia from 9 August to 13 August to participate in the Global Christian Forum under the theme “God in your grace, transform the world.”
The largest festival of Hinduism, the Durga Puja, was held in Bangladesh. Two-hundred thousand police were deployed to provide security. The population of Bangladesh is 90 percent Muslim and only 10 percent of Bangladeshis are Hindu.
The federal district court of Sacramento in California, USA, ruled that it is unconstitutional to make students recite the Pledge of Allegiance that contains the phrase “under God.”
The Salvation Army held a ceremony celebrating the start of their activities in Poland. Poland is the one-hundred eleventh country in which the Salvation Army is active. Two Captains were appointed, and the first soldiers in Poland were enrolled.
The twelve year old Palestinian teenager Ahmed Khatib was shot and killed by the Israeli Defense Forces on a street in Jenin, Palestine. The teenager’s heart and liver were transplanted into six Israeli citizens. Ahmad’s father said that he would like this decision to be understood as a signal from “us Palestinians who wish for peace.”