Cindy Jacobs: Japan has “Gone Downhill” Because of Shinto Ritual

Neo-Pentecostal leader Cindy Jacobs discusses the Japan earthquake:

I have personally felt that one of the reasons Japan was such a hard group for the gospel was the fact that they have had a direct link with the Imperial family and a direct link with the sun goddess, Amaterasu.

After the end of the second world war, under the U.S. agreements with Japan, this connection with Amaterasu was renounced…

However, of recent years, this link with Amaterasu and sun worship was reinstated in a ceremony in which the new Emperor once again participated and “spent the night with the goddess” after eating the sacred rice.

I believe this is one major reason that Japan has gone downhill economically in such a drastic way. The debt ratio to GDP is now 200%. With the earthquake and subsequent tsunami, the economy and banking system, insurance industry, etc., will certainly take a massive hit.

…this island, Hokkaido, looks like the head of a dragon with the body being the rest of Japan. The people of Asia have worshipped the dragon for 5,000 years. If one looks at the place where the earthquake took place, it looks like the soft underbelly of most vulnerable part of the dragon. Let’s pray that the deep idolatry and the worship of hundreds of idols under the guise of Shintoism, Buddhism, and allegiances to being “sons of the dragon” will be broken and thousands will turn to the Lord.

Jacobs is a close associate of Rick Joyner; she is a member of Joyner’s “Oak Initiative”, alongside Jerry Boykin and other  figures on the neo-Pentecostal Christian Right. I blogged on Joyner’s musings on “the spiritual significance of the Japanese earthquake” yesterday.

Jacobs’ discussion of the Emperor supposedly “spending the night with with goddess” refers to a Shinto ritual called Daijosai. This is undertaken when a new Emperor comes to the throne, although the meaning of the symbolism around it is today obscure. Scholar Carmen Blacker explains that:

Wars, rebellions, and impoverishment of the imperial house led to periods, longer or shorter, of dicintinuance. The longest lapse lasted for more than two centuries, from 1466 to 1687, when civil war and its aftermath prevented its performance. During this long gap much of the tradition surrounding the ritual was lost.

One interpretation suggests that it is a rite of passage through which the Emperor is reborn as the child of the Goddess. Part of the ceremony involves a bed-like object, called a shinza. However, the shinza is not touched, the emperor does not lie on it, and its meaning is unknown. Blacker observes:

An intriguing variey of theories have been advanced to account for its presence. It has been seen as a throne, as a marriage bed, a symbol of the Sun Goddess, a resting-place for a visiting god, a refuge where the emperor may receive the soul of his ancestors. (1)

However, as I blogged in 2009, neo-Pentecostals such as C. Peter Wagner interpret the ritual salaciously: Wagner believes that the Sun Goddess is a demonic “succubus” who becomes “one flesh” with the Emperor through “sexual intercourse”. Wagner heads the “Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders”, of which Jacobs is a member.

Jacobs is not the first person to suggest that Japan is shaped like a dragon, with Hokkaido as the head; a couple of popular guidebooks claim this is a feng shui conceptualization, although it doesn’t appear to be a traditional belief.

(1) See “The Shinza or God-seat in the Daijosai: Throne, Bed or Incubation Couch?” in The Collected Writings of Carmen Blacker (Routledge 2000)

(Hat tip: Right Wing Watch)