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  • 神社・寺院の維持管理と行事運営の実態に関する研究
  • In Kumano city, Mie Pref.
  • 三重県熊野市を対象として

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<p> This is a study on villages, shrines and temples in Kumano City, Mie Prefecture. Aging and depopulation are problems in rural areas of Japan. The same trend applies to the Kumano area of the Kii Peninsula. Also, the Kumano area has a primitive nature worship, and it is transmitted to various places as shrines, temples, and events. However, it is expected that there will be a shortage of successors due to aging and depopulation.</p><p> This study covers two mountain villages and three fishing villages in Kumano City. We interviewed the central characters of the five villages. The villages of mountain are discrete and may have sub-organizations such as "Ku" and "Kumi" to organize the villages.</p><p> In that case, we interviewed the central figure in the subordinate organization. The villages of the fishing are collective, and there are multiple villages. The hearing revealed that locals were involved in shrines and temples during routine maintenance and events. Shrines and temples form a one-year cycle through regular maintenance and events. Regarding regular maintenance, some villages perform maintenance once every two weeks, while others only perform maintenance once a year. The shrine has an event about once a year, and many people in the village prepare and participate in the event. The temple has four events a year, and the people of the village do not gather but worship individually as a family. Bon events will be centered around homes where people died that year.</p><p>Shrine events are often held in collaboration with the assembly hall. There are also areas that maintain and operate events in cooperation with neighboring villages. There were also villages that had their own shrine as a subordinate organization. Blood relationships are important for temples, and land connections are important for shrines. It also revealed the existence of other religious shrines due to professional connections. In discrete mountain villages, subdivided organizations may have their own shrines and temples, which can result in double involvement for the inhabitants. Collective fishing villages are likely to be shared with neighboring villages that are geographically close to each other. It was also found that maintenance and event management were simplified as a measure against aging and depopulation. Participants are less burdened by setting the assembly hall as the place for preparing events, reducing the number of maintenance sessions, relaxing maintenance rules, and simplifying ceremonies.</p><p> In this study, we clarified that there are three structures related to shrines and temples according to the topographical conditions and the connections between people. Furthermore, it was clarified that there are four labor-saving methods to avoid burdening the relationship between shrines and temples due to depopulation and aging. Although it is a burden, it is not appropriate to abolish shrines and temples. It is important to apply the four labor saving in a well-balanced manner while looking at the three structures of the relationship. It is important to keep the places and events of shrines and temples alive as one of the measures to maintain the status quo in the depopulated and aging areas.</p>


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