Encyclopedia of Shinto - Guide to Usage
Guide to Usage
Contents1.Guide to Usage
2.Cross References, Hyperlinks
4.Names of Kami
5.Orthographical and other Conventions
6.Sino-Japanese Characters (Kanji)
8.Nominal Membership Figures of Religious Groups
9.To our readers
1.Guide to UsageThe arrangement of contents in the online Encyclopedia of Shinto (EOS) follows the general topical organization of the original Shintō jiten. Each major chapter division includes plural subsections, with individual entries rearranged in alphabetical order within their respective sections.
The "Home" page here displays the nine major chapters of the EOS together with their respective subcategories (only those indicated by a flashing "UP" marker are currently active; those with orange flag are incomplete or still in editing). Selecting a subcategory leads to a page with an alphabetical listing of the entries for that subcategory. Each entry heading is accompanied by the first fifty words (approximate) of the entry's text.
When an entry is opened, clicking on the "speaker" mark beside the heading will produce a spoken pronunciation of the entry. Some entries are accompanied by symbols indicating the inclusion of photographs or videos relevant to the entry.
2.Cross References, HyperlinksWords that are cross-referenced to other entries currently available within the online EOS are highlighted in bold hypertext. Click on such highlighted terms to go directly to the corresponding entry. Unfortunately, coding problems have produced a few difficulties in cases where a cross-referenced entry is also a homophone for a separate word with a different meaning. For example, the word AN is hyperlinked throughout the text, since it refers to the ritual table by that name, but this has resulted in the English grammatical article an also being hyperlinked to that entry. A similar case has occurred with the entry heading shinsen (offerings), which is a homophone for another word meaning "new selection" (as in the work Shinsen shōjiroku). We apologize for the inconvenience and are hopeful that this issue will be resolved in time.
Finally, a few originally cross-reference headings have been omitted when they were judged to be unnecessary to English readers.
3.Text SearchA full-text search function allows for searches in either headings only, or in headings and text of the EOS. Boolean operators (and/or) are provided, but exact phrase searches are not supported (quotation marks are treated as part of the search string; using them to delimit a phrase will result in errors). Searches are not case-sensitive, and are performed of straight text strings, with the result that searching for a word like "kami" will return not only "kami," but other words in which the string occurs, such as "Amatsukami" "Takamimusuhi," and "wakamiya." Placing spaces before and after the search word has no effect. When a search is performed, the number of articles in which the string occurs is listed at the top of the search page.
4.Names of KamiThe names of Japanese kami are notorious for their numerous variations. In the online EOA, headings of articles dealing with individual kami adopt a typical name style, and all other modifications and variations of the name are listed as "other names." The common title of kami, ōkami or mikoto frequently found appended to names has also been omitted from the entry headings here.
The names of many kami begin with the honorific prefix Ame no ("Heavenly"), which is frequently also read Ama no. To reduce space, a single reading has been provided in the headings here. As a result, readers unable to find a specific kami name which they believe begins with Ama no should also search under Ame no (and vice versa). For example, the kami listed here as Amenokagami may be found listed in some sources as Amanokagami, but the former name is used exclusively in the EOS.
Italicized works following entry headings for kami names indicates the major classical sources for the kami name involved (Nihon shoki is in some cases abbreviated as Nihongi).
5.Orthographical and other ConventionsA modified Hepburn system of romanization has been adopted; macrons have been included to indicate lengthened vowel sounds in Japanese words, with the exception of certain well-known place names like Tokyo and Osaka, and common terms like "Shinto" itself, which are already conventionally known in English. Even in such cases, however, the macron is retained when the word involved is part of a title or expression the other parts of which are in Japanese.
6.Sino-Japanese Characters (Kanji)At present, most Sino-Japanese characters have been omitted from the online EOS due to encoding issues, although a very few have been included where it was thought necessary to illustrate the sense of the text. As more of the EOS is brought on line, plans are for the inclusion of a glossary of the major kanji used in entry headings and other important terms.
7.Other NotesThe mythic episodes recounted by the Nihon shoki (Nihongi) in the section known as"age of kami" (kamiyo) are frequently composed of a "main version" followed by multiple variants. In the original, such variants are indicated by the conventional expression aru fumi ni iwaku ("in one writing it is said…"). The online EOS uniformly adopts the expression "alternate writing" to indicate such variants.
8.Nominal Membership Figures of Religious GroupsIn the section of Chapter 8 called Modern Sectarian Groups, "nominal membership" figures are provided at the end of most entries. Figures followed by (M) are drawn from the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Shūkyō nenkan [Religions Yearbook], 1993 edition, while those followed by (S) have been drawn from Inoue Nobutaka et al., eds., Shinshūkyō jiten [Encyclopedia of New Religions] (Kōbundō, 1990). Entries without the aforementioned abbreviations have been drawn from other sources.
9.To our readersThe EOS is an ongoing effort. While the entire body of the Encyclopedia is scheduled to be online by March 31, 2007, many of the translations will require continued editing even after that date. We ask for your understanding and patience; readers who discover what they consider to be serious errors of fact or translation are asked to forward their findings to us.
In addition to the online EOS, individual volumes of the Encyclopedia of Shinto, chapters 2 (Kami), 4 (Jinja), and 8 (Schools, Groups and Personalities) are available in published form from the Institute of Japanese Culture and Classics, Kokugakuin University (2001, 2004, 2006). Please note that some differences exist between the online and published versions due to continued updating.