Shin Mei Spiritual Centre

Kinomori Jinja 祈の森神社

Kinomori Jinja sits in a sacred space in the north part of Knapp Island’s forest, surrounded by towering fir and arbutus trees. The breeze blows off the ocean, whispering in the tree branches and rustling the paper shide on the tori’s shimenawa.

Here you can be. In silence. In prayer. In meditation.

The Name

“Kinomori” is Forest Prayer (祈 prayer; 森 forest). “Jinja” is Shrine 神社。

The Kami

The kamisama enshrined here are

  • Sarutahiko no O Kami Head of all Earthly Kami, he guards the junction between earth and heaven. His mission is to teach mankind and to guide us to live in balance with Divine Nature (Dai Shizen 大自然)

  • Ame no Uzume no Mikoto The guardian kami of art and entertainment, marriage, harmony, and meditation—she is known as a fearless kami who, through her positive and clever approach, can redirect a difficult situation to a positive outcome

  • Chinju no Mori no O Kami Kami of the Sacred Forest, residing in the trees, teaching us to live with gratitude and in harmony with all of Great Nature

The Shrine

Kinomori Jinja was previously at Bright Woods Spiritual Centre on Salt Spring Island. When Matsuri Foundation acquired Knapp Island, we uninstalled the kamisama and arranged to move the shrine by barge to Knapp Island. Moving it across the water, and then along the forest trail to the north end of the island was a challenging task, but everything arrived safely!

The shrine was built over 20 years ago by Dale Brotherton, a highly skilled traditional shrine carpenter who resides just south of Seattle, Washington. Dale trained and lived for many years in Japan. The shrine structure is carefully detailed, hand planed, and built of yellow cedar using traditional joinery methods—without nails.

Kinomori Jinja. Shinto shrine in the forest of Knapp Island.