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Masatsugu OKUTANI


Officiant of Shinto at Sanctuary YABUHARA


Mr. Masatsugu Okutani is the 25th successor of chief officiant of the sanctuary Yabuhara at Nagano prefecture in Japan. The family originally from Kyoto and moved to Nagano prefecture just after the irruption of Heyan capital in 1180. Since then, the family handed down the position with the direct line of descendant until today.


Education & License of an officiant of Shinto


Master of Business Administration (MBA), the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, Wales, UK (2006)


BA, Kokugakuin University, Tokyo, Japan (1997)- Mei-Kai rank of license of an officiant of Shinto, Jinja Honcho, the Association of Shinto Shrines, Tokyo, Japan (1997)


*There are five ranks, or Kaii of license of an officiant, From the highest, it is ranked as Jo-Kai, Mei-Kai, Sei-Kai, Gon-Sei-Kai and Choku-Kai. Jo-Kai is the emeritus rank, and the license of an officiant Shinto is only issued by the Jinja Honcho, the Association of Shinto Shrines, at Tokyo.


Carrier and Experiences


Mr. Masatsugu Okutani entered the service of Jinja Honcho, the Association of Shinto Shrines, which organise about 80000 Jinja, Sanctuaries of Shinto, throughout Japan after his graduation of Kokugakuin University at Tokyo in 1997. At the association, he mainly worked for the international affairs and engaged in PR to provide information on Shinto and Japanese culture for governmental and non-governmental institutions in the world. Also, he planned and implemented lectures on Shinto to foreign ambassadors as well as non-Japanese who work for governmental institutions and non-Japanese executives who work at Tokyo. Then he engaged in education and training for young, middle and senior officiant of Shinto.

After six years of his carrier at the association, he studied organisational management focuses on organisation of sanctuaries under the postmodern society especially in terms of not for profitable organisation at the University of Wales, Aberystwhth in UK (MBA), and he then worked for organisational risk management consulting firm at Tokyo as a senior risk management consultant.After that, he entered the service of one of the largest Jinja in Japan, Meiji Jingu, at Tokyo as an officiant, and also as a research fellow at Meiji Jingu Research Institute. As an officiant, he engaged in ceremonies which served throughout a year at Meiji Jingu, and also giving lectures on Shinto and Meiji Jingu for VIPs such as national guests, non-Japanese visitors, students of international schools, non-Japanese students at university as well as international organisations in Japan. He also planned and implemented international exchange programs with Tokyo American Club as one of the mission. Outside of Japan, he served ceremonies at Dojo of Budo in European countries and for the event of “BUDO-BUSHIDO-SAMURAI 2008” which commemorates 150 years of the relationship between France and Japan organised by Japan Foundation at the Maison de la culture du Japon à Paris in 2008. As a senior staff, he engaged in planning and supporting implementation of organisational plannings of top management at Meiji Jingu as well as studies about Shinto as a research fellow at the institution.


Since 2009, he is staying in France as the only Japanese officiant of Shinto in Europe to introduce the essence of Shinto which is the core of the Japanese culture until now.


In 2010, he offered lecture on Shinto and Japanese culture for 200 PhD students who study Japanese culture at INALCO.


In 2011, he was received in audience with HRH Princess Caroline the Princess of Hanover.

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