Resources to Avoid

These groups have some issues with reliability, toxicity, abuse etc. Some, especially Yamakage Shinto, will present themselves as mainstream sources of information. This list is not to tell you you should never read anything from these groups, but to raise some concerns and indicate that you should take their information with a grain of salt. I also do not recommend learning about Shinto from Sect Shinto groups, as their teachings and practices are significantly different from both Shrine Shinto and popular practice.

Online Groups

r/Shinto (reddit)

Owned by a TERF, formerly by a homophobic racist who likely is a white nationalist. Lots of pagans.

Inari Faith International (FaceBook)

Run by someone who has a history of racism and classism.

Religious Organizations

Yamakage Shinto

Koshinto New Religious Movement with made-up prayers, formerly led by extremely antisemitic Motohisa Yamakage.

A current member claims that (at least a specific) prayer won’t work unless you’re a member, and its historical source was conveniently lost.

A Koshinto priest commented on how Yamakage Shinto copied and renamed an Imperial rite.

World Mate

Weirdly named facilities

Less financially exploitative than other organizations, but you still have to pay a fee to be a member (standard shrines only require fees from suukeikai members, and anyone can worship or visit festivals and partake).

Soka Gakkai (SGI, Soka Gakkai International)

Just look up “ex SGI member” posts.

Aggressive recruiters.

From my personal experience: My mother and I were recruited separately. A USA yoga class was a cover operation for recruitment and when I asked what school of Buddhism they were, they told me SGI. I indicated I knew about it, I was blocked. I am fairly certain the stranger who tried to recruit me in Tokyo was from SGI as well.


Far-right supporter of the Nihon Kaigi, and involved in multiple scandals (mostly of a drug or monetary nature).

Ishihara Shintaro, ultranationalist xenophobe, was a member. They named a building after him.

Jodo Shinshu Shinrankai

Many Jodo Shinshu monks have spoken out against it.

Disguises itself as other organizations in order to recruit.

Sekai Kyuseikyo (Omoto)


Sukyo Mahikari


Aleph and Hikari no Wa

Successors to Aum Shinrikyo, perpetrators of the Tokyo Subway Sarin Gas Attack, which is the largest terrorist attack in Japan.


Harsh treatment of critics, even from within.


Koshikidake Shokai has a Korean mu bell likely stolen from Korea, and announced he would use it during a Shugendo ritual. Needless to say, this is violent theft that builds on and continues Japanese imperialist actions.

Resources to Avoid

2024/04/03 up

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