Back in October/November I applied to a study program hosted by Kōgakkan University 皇學館大学 called the “Ise” and Japan Study Program 「伊勢」と日本スタディプログラム. The program seems to be geared towards graduate students and Japanese studies researchers from abroad. The purpose of the program is to promote Shintō 神道 understanding, specifically Ise Shintō and it’s influence on Japanese culture and society. There will be approximately 13 or so researchers participating in the program from all over the world.
I was really happy to get accepted to this program. Most programs like this are usually held during western “summer vacation” or semester break, which pretty much rules out any chance of me participating. This one is held during Japan’s semester break (end of one school year and beginning of the next), so it is timed perfectly for me.
The “Ise” and Japan Study Program will be held for 3 weeks this year from 19 February-11 March–all expenses paid! We’ll be staying in Kōgakkan’s dormitories and eating in their cafeteria. Most of the lectures and activities will be held on campus and places nearby.
Kōgakkan University is located right in Ise, Mie Prefecture, which is home to the Ise Grand Shrine 伊勢神宮. The Ise Grand Shrine is the headquarters/ spiritual home of organized Shintō. I feel as though a lot of attention is given towards Japanese Buddhism, so this program is special in that it is dedicated to Shintō.
I recently received the program schedule that lists the lecture topics and daily excursions. Lecture topics include those on the Ise Grand Shrine’s history, Shintō & Bushidō 武士道, the Inner and Outer shrines 内宮・外宮, temple architecture & construction, Shintō myths & legends, and many more.