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 Supreme Court dismissed the appeal that the Governor of Tokyo's attendance of accession ceremonies (sokui, daijōsai) or expenditures of public funds on such celebrations is illegal according to the separation of religion and government (seikyō bunri).
KOLUMOS (The Society for the Study of the Role of Religion Today) opened a study session under the theme of "Mourning and Happiness" in Kyoto.
The Grand Shrines of Ise established a new Korean language version of their website.
Kondō Mitsuhiro, Lecturer in the Center for Asian Studies at the University of Tokyo, was selected as the recipient of the first Center for the International Study of Religion Award; the award ceremony was conducted at Taishō University. The award-winning article was entitled: "Religion, Nationalism, and Violence: Research Regarding the Ideology of Hindu Nationalist Movements."
According to the Police Department, in the first three days of the New Year the total number of visitors to shrines and temples for hatsumōde was 93,730,000 people, 4,070,000 more people than the previous year and the highest in history. Among the top 10 shrines and temples, Meiji Jingū was in first place with 3,050,000 visitors, and shrines accounted for 7 of the 10.
In response to the report from the "Committee of Experts on Imperial House Law" that approved a female empress or imperial line, the Association of Shintō Shrines (Jinja Honchō) announced its criticism, sharing its opinion that male inheritance should be pursued to the utmost possible degree.
Due to a decline in incoming students, the Jōdo-shū Nisō Dōjō (based in Kyoto), established in the Meiji era and known as the only training center for nuns in Kyoto, stopped recruiting students from the 2006 school year.
The Public Security Examination Commission extended the decision to conduct surveillance on Aum Shinrikyō, which was due to expire at the end of January. This makes the second extension of the surveillance, following the initial extension in 2003.
At the headquarters of the Tendai sect, Enryaku-ji (ōtsu City), in celebration of the 1200 years since the founding of the sect, roughly 60 zasu (head abbots) gathered on the anniversary of the founding and conducted a shōtō hōyō.
The Kyoto District Court handed down a verdict of rape with a sentence of 20 years against defendant former chief minister Kanebo of the Seishin Chuo Church (Hachiman City, Kyoto Prefecture).
The Federal District Court in Pennsylvania, United States of America, handed down a verdict forbidding the teaching of Intelligent Design theory in schools because it is not science.
The first Russian Orthodox Church in Pyongyang was nearly completed. General Secretary Kim Jong Il directly oversaw the construction, thereby contributing to cultural exchange between North Korea and Russia.
The government of the autonomous region of Tibet enacted the "Regulation regarding the Administration of Sky Burials," abolishing the viewing or broadcast of sky burials (chōsō), which are part of Tibetan tradition. The government aims to legally protect sky burials, which are part of Tibetans' burial customs, through national law.
In China, in the central district of Beijing, the ban on fireworks and firecrackers was lifted for the first time in 13 years. The temporary lift on the ban for New Year's celebrations lasted for 16 days from the 28th, which marks New Year's Eve according to the old calendar.
According to a survey of public opinion in the Sunday Times, the percentage of British citizens who anticipate that tensions between Muslim and other citizens would increase rose to 63%, greatly surpassing the 17% who stated that peaceful coexistence is possible.