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Not just a man's world


Shinto priest Tomoe Ichino, 40, poses for a photograph at Imado Shrine in Tokyo. "In general, people think being a Shinto priest is a man's profession. If you're a woman, they think you're a shrine maiden, or a supplementary priestess. People don't know women Shinto priests exist, so they think we can't perform rituals. Once, after I finished performing 'jiichinsai' (ground-breaking ceremony), I was asked, 'So, when is the priest coming?'" Ichino said. "When I first began working as a Shinto priest, because I was young and female, some people felt the blessing was different. They thought: 'I would have preferred your grandfather.' At first, I wore my grandfather's light green garment because I thought it's better to look like a man. But after a while I decided to be proud of the fact that I am a female priest and I began wearing a pink robe, like today. I thought I can be more confident if I stop thinking too much (about my gender)."

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Great job. Tax free income too.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Not unusual at small local shrines and temples. The jobs are the hereditary family businesses and many are in trouble that their sons do not inherit their family jobs. And when they do not have sons, their daughters have to inherit the family professions.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

If there are no sons, I think the most common solution is that a daughter takes a husband to take over the temple as a priest. So, then, if a son has no will to inherit the temple business, they can take a wife to do so in place of him. -- This article led me to think this way.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I think the etiquette can be felt at work, my Grandfather keeps reminding me. Do say this, don't do that, do be bossy,

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Still a good thing that Shinto does not prohibit female priests while many other religions like Roman Catholic are still having difficulties allowing female priesthood. Hopefully there will be more like her in Japan.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

“I don't mind living in a man's world, as long as I can be a woman in it.”

― Marilyn Monroe, Marilyn

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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