Until the Meiji period, the jingū-ji were places of worship composed of a Buddhist temple and a Shintō shrine, both dedicated to a local kami. These complexes were born when a temple was erected next to a shrine to help its kami with its karmic problems. At the time, kami were thought to be subjected to karma, therefore in need of a salvation only Buddhism could provide. Having first appeared during the Nara period, jingū-ji remained common for over a millennium until, with few exceptions, they were destroyed in compliance with the Kami and Buddhas Separation Act of 1868. Seiganto-ji is a Tendai temple part of the Kumano Sanzan Shinto shrine complex, as such can be considered one of the few shrine-temples still extant; when Buddhism arrived in Japan, it encountered some resistance from pre-existing religious institutions and beliefs. One of the first efforts to reconcile pre-existing Japanese religion with Chinese Buddhism was made in the 8th century during the Nara period with the founding of so-called jungūji or shrine-temples, religious complexes consisting of a shrine and a temple.
The first shrine-temple was probably Usa Hachiman-gū, where a temple called Miroku-ji was completed in 779, however the earliest documented case is that of a man who in 749 in Kashima, Ibaraki prefecture built a temple next to a shrine. Behind the inclusion within a shrine of Buddhist religious objects was the idea that the kami were lost beings in need of liberation through the power of Buddhism. Kami were thought to be subject to karma and reincarnation like human beings, early Buddhist stories tell how that the task of helping suffering kami was assumed by wandering monks. During his wanderings, some local kami would appear in a dream to a monk, telling him about his problems. To improve the kami's karma through rites and the reading of sūtras, the monk would build a temple next to the kami's existing shrine; the building of temples at shrines produced shrine-temple complexes, which accelerated the process of amalgamation of the two religions. As a result of the creation of shrine-temples, many shrines that had until been just an open-air site, in keeping with tradition, became Buddhist-style groupings of buildings.
In this fashion, Buddhism took over many sites that had until been dedicated to local kami beliefs. Kūkai himself left writings that make it clear he saw no problem in a mixed institution like the jingū-ji. There, Buddhist clergy would recite sūtras on behalf of a kami, to guide him or her to satori; the institution had the government's approval and was meant on one side to be a tool to spread Buddhism to the provinces, on the other as a way to install religious representatives of the government there. During the Heian period a great number of temples were built next to shrines, but the term jingū-ji itself tended to disappear, suggesting that temples were taking over control of the shrines. How pervasive was Buddhism can be inferred from the fact that Ise Shrine, a place considered today the holiest of Shinto shrines, in 1868 included 300 Buddhist temples and practiced Buddhism; this in spite of strict rules which forbade Buddhism within the shrine itself. Because none of the few extant jingū-ji is intact, their composition is known only through old drawings and paintings.
We know that the temple part of the shrine-temple complex consisted of several buildings, among them a main hall, a pagoda, a Buddhist gate and a betsu-in. The main priest was tellingly called shasō or "shrine Buddhist monk", was both a shrine priest and a Buddhist monk. Two examples, which are however just recent reconstructions, are Kamo Jingū-ji in Kyoto and Kasuga Taisha Jingu-ji in Nara. At the end of the 8th century, in what is considered the second stage of the amalgamation, the kami Hachiman was declared to be tutelary deity of the Dharma and a little bit a bodhisattva. Shrines for him started to be built at temples, marking an important step ahead in the process of amalgamation of kami and Buddhism; when the great Buddha at Tōdai-ji in Nara was built, within the temple grounds was erected a shrine for Hachiman, according to the legend because of a wish expressed by the kami himself. Hachiman considered the shrine his due reward for having helped the temple find the gold and copper mines from which the metal for the great statue had come.
After this, temples in the entire country adopted tutelary kami (chinju, enshrining them in specially built shrines called chinjusha. A variant of the jingū-ji was the miyadera. Miyadera were temples founded and staffed by Buddhist monks, which however had as their main object of worship a kami. Unlike a jingū-ji, a miyadera had no priestly clan performing kami rituals in a separate shrine. Unlike those of a jingū-ji, monks at a miyadera could marry and pass their position to their children. There were Buddhist monks with a subordinate function who were denied the right to marry. A notable example of a miyadera was Iwashimizu Hachiman-gū-ji, now just a Shinto shrine, its honzon was soul of Emperor Ōjin. The first miyadera was founded by a monk from Daian-ji called Gyōkyō who invited Hachiman from Usa to Iwashimizu Hachiman-gū. Other miyadera, such as Gionsha, Kankei-ji and Kitano Tenman-gū, were founded shortly afterwards. Miya-dera were numerous among shrines dedicated to mountain religious sects like the Kumano Sanzan complex and the Hakusan Shrine network.
The improperly-named institution traditionally called "Twenty-two S
The Nara period of the history of Japan covers the years from AD 710 to 794. Empress Genmei established the capital of Heijō-kyō. Except for a five-year period, when the capital was moved again, it remained the capital of Japanese civilization until Emperor Kanmu established a new capital, Nagaoka-kyō, in 784, before moving to Heian-kyō, modern Kyoto, a decade in 794. Most of Japanese society during this period was centered on villages. Most of the villagers followed a religion based on the worship of natural and ancestral spirits called kami; the capital at Nara was modeled after Chang the capital city of Tang dynasty. In many other ways, the Japanese upper classes patterned themselves after the Chinese, including adopting Chinese written system and the religion of Buddhism. Concentrated efforts by the imperial court to record and document its history produced the first works of Japanese literature during the Nara period. Works such as the Kojiki and the Nihon Shoki were political in nature, used to record and therefore justify and establish the supremacy of the rule of the emperors within Japan.
With the spread of written language, the writing of Japanese poetry, known in Japanese as waka, began. The largest and longest-surviving collection of Japanese poetry, the Man'yōshū, was compiled from poems composed between 600 and 759 CE. This, other Nara texts, used Chinese characters to express the sounds of Japanese, known as man'yōgana. Before the Taihō Code was established, the capital was customarily moved after the death of an emperor because of the ancient belief that a place of death was polluted. Reforms and bureaucratization of government led to the establishment of a permanent imperial capital at Heijō-kyō, or Nara, in AD 710, it is to be noted that the capital was moved shortly to Kuni-kyō in 740–744, to Naniwa-kyō in 744–745, to Shigarakinomiya in 745, moved back to Nara in 745. Nara was Japan's first urban center, it soon had some 10,000 people worked in government jobs. Economic and administrative activity increased during the Nara period. Roads linked Nara to provincial capitals, taxes were collected more efficiently and routinely.
Coins were minted, if not used. Outside the Nara area, there was little commercial activity, in the provinces the old Shōtoku land reform systems declined. By the mid-eighth century, shōen, one of the most important economic institutions in prehistoric Japan, began to rise as a result of the search for a more manageable form of landholding. Local administration became more self-sufficient, while the breakdown of the old land distribution system and the rise of taxes led to the loss or abandonment of land by many people who became the "wave people"; some of these "public people" were employed by large landholders, "public lands" reverted to the shōen. Factional fighting at the imperial court continued throughout the Nara period. Imperial family members, leading court families, such as the Fujiwara, Buddhist priests all contended for influence. Earlier this period, Prince Nagaya seized power at the court after the death of Fujiwara no Fuhito. Fuhito was succeeded by four sons, Umakai and Maro, they put the prince by Fuhito's daughter, on the throne.
In 729, they regained control. However, as a major outbreak of smallpox spread from Kyūshū in 735, all four brothers died two years resulting in temporary shrinking of Fujiwara's dominance. In 740, a member of the Fujiwara clan, Hirotsugu launched a rebellion from his base in Fukuoka, Kyushu. Although defeated, it is without doubt that the Emperor was shocked about these events, he moved the palace three times in only five years from 740, until he returned to Nara. In the late Nara period, financial burdens on the state increased, the court began dismissing nonessential officials. In 792 universal conscription was abandoned, district heads were allowed to establish private militia forces for local police work. Decentralization of authority became the rule despite the reforms of the Nara period. To return control to imperial hands, the capital was moved in 784 to Nagaoka-kyō and in 794 to Heian-kyō, about twenty-six kilometers north of Nara. By the late eleventh century, the city was popularly called Kyoto, the name it has had since.
Some of Japan's literary monuments were written during the Nara period, including the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki, the first national histories, compiled in 712 and 720 respectively. Another major cultural development of the era was the permanent establishment of Buddhism. Buddhism was introduced by Baekje in the sixth century but had a mixed reception until the Nara period, when it was heartily embraced by Emperor Shōmu. Shōmu and his Fujiwara consort were fervent Buddhists and promoted the spread of Buddhism, making it the "guardian of the state" and a way of strengthening Japanese institutions. During Shōmu's reign, the Tōdai-ji was built. Within it was placed the Great Buddha Daibutsu: a 16-metre-high, gilt-bronze statue; this Buddha was identified with the Sun Goddess, a gradual syncretism of Buddhism and Shinto ensued. Shōmu declared himself the "Servant of the Three Treasures" of Buddhism: the Buddha, the law or teachings of B
Glossary of Shinto
This is the glossary of Shinto, including major terms the casual reader might find useful in understanding articles on the subject. Words followed by an asterisk are illustrated by an image in one of the photo galleries. Within definitions, words set in boldface are defined elsewhere in the glossary. Aku - Evil; the term's meaning is however not limited to moral evil, includes misfortune and unhappiness. Amaterasu Ōmikami - The Sun Goddess, tutelary kami and ancestor of the Emperor, enshrined at Ise Shrine. An* - a small table or platform used during Shinto ceremonies to bear offerings, it may have eight or sixteen legs. Anzen - Safety safety at work requested from a kami, in fact corporations have a tutelary shrine to ensure their business prospers. Aramitama - The rough and violent side of a spirit. Bekkū or betsugū - Subsidiary shrine next to the honden, which may however enshrine an important kami. Benzaiten - Originally a Vedic goddess Sarasvati, now a syncretic goddess member of the seven lucky gods.
Her Shinto name is Ichikishima-hime-no-mikoto. Bettō - before the shinbutsu bunri, when the Meiji period law forbade the mixing of Shinto and Buddhism, a bettō was a monk who performed Buddhist rites at a Shinto shrine. Bishamonten - Syncretic deity of Buddhist origin part of the Seven Lucky Gods. A symbol of authority, he protects warriors. Bon Matsuri - a festival celebrated around July 15 in order to console the spirits of the dead. In theory a Buddhist in practice an ancestor and family festival part of Shinto. Bosatsu - Bodhisattva. Term of Buddhist origin which however was and is used for deities of mixed Buddhist/Shinto ancestry like Benzaiten and Jizō, kami like Hachiman and deified human beings like Tokugawa Ieyasu. Buden - see kaguraden. Bunrei - process of division of a kami producing two complete copies of the original, one of, transferred to a new shrine through a process called kanjō. Bunsha - Shrine part of a network headed by a famous shrine, from whence its kami was transferred through an operation called kanjō.
Butsudan - Buddhist altar found in Japanese homes enshrining a family's ancestors. Chigi* - Forked decorations common at the ends of the roof of shrines. Chinju - the tutelary kami or tutelary shrine of a certain area or Buddhist temple. Chinjusha* - a small shrine dedicated to the tutelary kami of an area or building. Chōchin - paper lanterns always present at Shinto festivals chōzuya - see temizuya. Daijōsai - Ceremony marking the beginning of an Emperor's reign in which he offers first fruits to ancestors, including Amaterasu; the Emperor shares a meal with the goddess. Dai-gongen - see gongen. Daikokuten - syncretic god part of the seven lucky gods fusing Buddhist god Mahakala and kami Ōkuninushi. Dōsojin - group of kami and Buddhist gods protectors of roads and other places of transition. Ebisu - god of prosperity found at both temples and shrines. One of the Seven Lucky Gods. ema* - small wooden plaques on which worshipers at shrines, as well as Buddhist temples, write their prayers or wishes.
Fox - See kitsune. Fuji - The most famous among Japan's sacred mountains, it is inhabited by a kami called Konohanasakuya-hime. Fukkō Shintō - name synonymous with kokugaku. Go-hei* - called onbe or heisoku. A wooden wand decorated with two shide and used in Shinto rituals as a yorishiro. Gongen A Buddhist god that chooses to appear as a Japanese kami to take the Japanese to spiritual salvation. Name sometimes used for shrines before the shinbutsu bunri. Gongen-zukuri - a shrine structure in which the haiden, the heiden and the honden are interconnected under the same roof in the shape of an H.* Goryō - A soul, angry for having died violently or unhappy, which needs to be pacified through Buddhist rites or enshrinement, like Sugawara no Michizane. Goshintai - see shintai. Gozu-tennō - Buddhist name of kami Susanoo, considered an avatar of Yakushi Nyorai. -gū - suffix of certain shrine names indicating it enshrines a member of the imperial family. Hachiman-gū shrines, for instance, enshrine Emperor Ojin.
Hachiman - Popular syncretic kami tutelary god of the warrior class. First enshrined at Usa Hachiman-gū, it consists of three separate figures, Emperor Ōjin, his mother and his wife Himegami. Hachiman-zukuri - Shinto architectural style in which two parallel structures with gabled roofs are interconnected on the non-gabled side forming a single building which, when seen from the side, gives the impression of two. Haibutsu kishaku - Literally "Destroy Buddha, kill Shakyamuni", it was the slogan of a Meiji period anti-Buddhist movement responsible for the destruction of thousands of Buddhist temples. Haiden* - "hall of prayer". A shrine building dedicated to prayer, the only one of a shrine open to laity. Hakusan - collective name given to three mountains worshiped as kami and sacred to the Shugendō. Hakusan shrines are common all over Japan. Hamaya - Literally "evil breaking arrow". Arrows kept at home all year. Han-honji suijaku - theory initiated by Yoshida Kanetomo which reversed the standard honji suijaku theory, asserting Buddhist gods were just avatars of Japanese kami. haraegushi - an ōnusa having an hexagonal or octagonal wand. harae - general term for rituals of purification in Shinto.
Hassoku-an - See an. Hatsumōde - the first shrine visit of the New Year; some shrines, for example Meiji Shrine in Harajuku, see millions of visitors in just a few days. Heiden - a section of a shrine where offerings are presented to the gods. Heihaku - see
In Japanese beliefs, Hachiman is the syncretic divinity of archery and war, incorporating elements from both Shinto and Buddhism. Although called the god of war, he is more defined as the tutelary god of warriors, he is the divine protector of Japan, the Japanese people and the Imperial House, the Minamoto clan and most samurai worshipped him. The name means "God of Eight Banners", referring to the eight heavenly banners that signaled the birth of the divine Emperor Ōjin, his symbolic animal and messenger is the dove. Since ancient times Hachiman was worshiped by peasants as the god of agriculture and by fishermen who hoped he would fill their nets with much fish. In Shinto, he became identified by legend as the Emperor Ōjin, son of Empress Jingū, from the 3rd–4th century. After the arrival of Buddhism in Japan, Hachiman became a syncretistic deity, fusing elements of the native kami worship with Buddhism. In the Buddhist pantheon in 8th century AD, he became Hachiman Great Bodhisattva; because as Emperor Ōjin he was an ancestor of the Minamoto clan, Hachiman became the tutelary kami of the Minamoto samurai clan.
Minamoto no Yoshiie, upon coming of age at Iwashimizu Shrine in Kyoto, took the name Hachiman Taro Yoshiie and through his military prowess and virtue as a leader, became regarded and respected as the ideal samurai through the ages. After Minamoto no Yoritomo became shōgun and established the Kamakura shogunate, Hachiman's popularity grew and he became by extension the protector of the warrior class the shōgun had brought to power. For this reason, the shintai of a Hachiman shrine is a stirrup or a bow. Throughout the Japanese medieval period, the worship of Hachiman spread throughout Japan among not only samurai, but the peasantry. So much so was his popularity that presently there are 25000 Shinto shrines in Japan dedicated to Hachiman, the second most numerous after shrines dedicated to Inari. Usa Shrine in Usa, Ōita Prefecture is head shrine of all of these shrines and together with Iwashimizu Hachiman-gū, Hakozaki-gū and Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gū, are noted as the most important of all the shrines dedicated to him.
The crest of Hachiman is in the design of a mitsudomoe, a round whirlpool or vortex with three heads swirling right or left. Many samurai clans used this crest as their own, including some that traced their ancestry back to the mortal enemy of the Minamoto, the Taira of the Emperor Kanmu line. Hachiman shrine Minamoto no Yoriyoshi Minamoto no Yorinobu Kamikaze Hachiman – Ancient History Encyclopedia Bender, Ross. "Metamorphosis of a Deity: The Image of Hachiman in Yumi Yawata". Monumenta Nipponica. 33: 165–78. Doi:10.2307/2384124. JSTOR 2384124. Bender, Ross. "The Political Meaning of the Hachiman Cult in Ancient and Early Medieval Japan". Dissertation. Columbia University
Kyoto Kyoto City, is the capital city of Kyoto Prefecture, located in the Kansai region of Japan. It is best known in Japanese history for being the former Imperial capital of Japan for more than one thousand years, as well as a major part of the Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe metropolitan area. In Japanese, Kyoto was called Kyō, Miyako, or Kyō no Miyako. In the 11th century, the city was renamed Kyoto, from the Chinese calligraphic, jingdu. After the city of Edo was renamed Tokyo in 1868, the seat of the Emperor was moved there, Kyoto was for a short time known as Saikyō. Kyoto is sometimes called the thousand-year capital; the National Diet never passed any law designating a capital. Foreign spellings for the city's name have included Kioto and Meaco, utilised by Dutch cartographers. Another term used to refer to the city in the pre-modern period was Keishi, meaning "urba" or "capital". Ample archaeological evidence suggests human settlement in Kyoto began as early as the Paleolithic period, although not much published material is retained about human activity in the area before the 6th century, around which time the Shimogamo Shrine is believed to have been established.
During the 8th century, when powerful Buddhist clergy became involved in the affairs of the Imperial government, Emperor Kanmu chose to relocate the capital in order to distance it from the clerical establishment in Nara. His last choice for the site was the village of Uda, in the Kadono district of Yamashiro Province; the new city, Heian-kyō, a scaled replica of the Tang capital Chang'an, became the seat of Japan's imperial court in 794, beginning the Heian period of Japanese history. Although military rulers established their governments either in Kyoto or in other cities such as Kamakura and Edo, Kyoto remained Japan's capital until the transfer of the imperial court to Tokyo in 1869 at the time of the Imperial Restoration; the city suffered extensive destruction in the Ōnin War of 1467–1477, did not recover until the mid-16th century. During the Ōnin War, the shugo collapsed, power was divided among the military families. Battles between samurai factions spilled into the streets, came to involve the court nobility and religious factions as well.
Nobles' mansions were transformed into fortresses, deep trenches dug throughout the city for defense and as firebreaks, numerous buildings burned. The city has not seen such widespread destruction since. In the late 16th century, Toyotomi Hideyoshi reconstructed the city by building new streets to double the number of north-south streets in central Kyoto, creating rectangle blocks superseding ancient square blocks. Hideyoshi built earthwork walls called odoi encircling the city. Teramachi Street in central Kyoto is a Buddhist temple quarter where Hideyoshi gathered temples in the city. Throughout the Edo period, the economy of the city flourished as one of three major cities in Japan, the others being Osaka and Edo; the Hamaguri rebellion of 1864 burnt down 28,000 houses in the city which showed the rebels' dissatisfaction towards the Tokugawa Shogunate. The subsequent move of the Emperor to Tokyo in 1869 weakened the economy; the modern city of Kyoto was formed on April 1, 1889. The construction of Lake Biwa Canal in 1890 was one measure taken to revive the city.
The population of the city exceeded one million in 1932. There was some consideration by the United States of targeting Kyoto with an atomic bomb at the end of World War II because, as an intellectual center of Japan, it had a population large enough to persuade the emperor to surrender. In the end, at the insistence of Henry L. Stimson, Secretary of War in the Roosevelt and Truman administrations, the city was removed from the list of targets and replaced by Nagasaki; the city was spared from conventional bombing as well, although small-scale air raids did result in casualties. As a result, the Imperial City of Kyoto is one of the few Japanese cities that still have an abundance of prewar buildings, such as the traditional townhouses known as machiya. However, modernization is continually breaking down the traditional Kyoto in favor of newer architecture, such as the Kyōto Station complex. Kyoto became a city designated by government ordinance on September 1, 1956. In 1997, Kyoto hosted the conference.
Kyoto is located in a valley, part of the Yamashiro Basin, in the eastern part of the mountainous region known as the Tamba highlands. The Yamashiro Basin is surrounded on three sides by mountains known as Higashiyama and Nishiyama, with a height just above 1,000 metres above sea level; this interior positioning results in cold winters. There are three rivers in the basin, the Ujigawa to the south, the Katsuragawa to the west, the Kamogawa to the east. Kyoto City takes up 17.9% of the land in the prefecture with an area of 827.9 square kilometres. The original city was arranged in accordance with traditional Chinese feng shui following the model of the ancient Chinese capital of Chang'an; the Imperial Palace faced south. The streets in the modern-day wards of Nakagyō, Shimogyō, Kamigyō-ku still follow a grid pattern. Today, the main business district is located to the south of the old Imperial Palace, with the less-populated northern area retaining a fa
A mikoshi is a divine palanquin. Shinto followers believe that it serves as the vehicle to transport a deity in Japan while moving between main shrine and temporary shrine during a festival or when moving to a new shrine; the mikoshi resembles a miniature building, with pillars, walls, a roof, a veranda and a railing. The Japanese honorific prefix o- is added, making omikoshi. Typical shapes are rectangles and octagons; the body, which stands on two or four poles, is lavishly decorated, the roof might hold a carving of a phoenix. During a matsuri involving a mikoshi, people bear the mikoshi on their shoulders by means of two, four poles, they bring the mikoshi from the shrine, carry it around the neighborhoods that worship at the shrine, in many cases leave it in a designated area, resting on blocks called uma, for a time before returning it to the shrine. Some shrines have the custom of dipping the mikoshi in the water of a nearby river or ocean. At some festivals, the people who bear the mikoshi wave it wildly from side to side to "amuse" the deity inside.
The most common method of shouldering in Japan is hira-katsugi "flat carry". Bearers may or may not toss and shake the mikoshi. Other methods include: Edomae "Edo style" is one famous way of shouldering observable at the Asakusa Sanja Festival; the shout is "say ya, soi ya, sorya... etc". The mikoshi is swayed up and down and a little to the right and left. "Dokkoi | ドッコイ " is seen in Shonan in Kanagawa Prefecture. This shouldering style uses two poles; the mikoshi is moved up and down rhythmically, more than in the "Edomae style". One shout is "dokkoi dokkoi dokkoi sorya" and there is a song called a "Jink | lively song." Another one is "Odawara style | 小田原担ぎ". This is a peculiar way of shouldering in which multiple mikoshis run; the shout is "oisah. The bearers do not sway the mikoshi. In this "united" style, the mikoshi uses the full width of the road, moving from side to side and turning corners at full speed. Honden Sokyo Ono, William P. Woodward, Shinto - The Kami Way, Charles E. Tuttle Company, Tokyo 1992, ISBN 4-8053-0189-9 Basic Terms of Shinto, Kokugakuin University, Institute for Japanese Culture and Classics, Tokyo 1985 Mikoshi Photos of Shinto shrine Mikoshi Festival Shin'yo, in the Encyclopedia of Shinto by the Kokugakuin University
Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism
The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Tourism, abbreviated MLIT, is a ministry of the Japanese government. It is responsible for one-third of all the laws and orders in Japan, is the largest Japanese ministry in terms of employees, as well as the second-largest executive agency of the Japanese government after the Ministry of Defense; the ministry oversees four external agencies including the Japan Coast Guard and the Japan Tourism Agency. MLIT was established as part of the administrative reforms of January 6, 2001, which merged the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Construction, the Hokkaido Development Agency, the National Land Agency. Before the ministry renamed itself on January 8, 2008, the ministry's English name was "Ministry of Land and Transport". After a fatal bus accident on April 29, 2012 where a bus bound for Tokyo Disneyland crashed into a wall on the Kanetsu Expressway in Gunma Prefecture killing seven and injuring 39 others, the ministry launched an investigation into highway bus companies.
From May to June 2012, it carried out inspections and found that 250 of 298 companies violated the Road Transportation Law, with 48 companies breaching it and one lending its name to another company. Twenty-two companies broke the law by hiring drivers on a daily basis. Among them, 15 companies hired more than one driver this way, which the ministry considered a "serious violation." The largest number of drivers hired by a company in this fashion was eight. 192 companies were found to have broken the law by ignoring the maximum nine hours of work a day for drivers. It found 118 companies did not give proper instructions and supervision to drivers, including the provision of safety education. Forty-eight companies did not perform roll call before their drivers started work, which should include an alcohol breath test; the ministry considered some of these violations as serious depending on their extent. "We would like to provide thorough instructions to the bus companies about their safety management," an official of the ministry's Road Transport Bureau said.
The ministry was considering whether to punish the violators and publish the inspection results of bus companies that are organizing tours this summer on its website. New safety measures, due to come into effect as early as July 2012 prohibited travel agencies from brokering bus tours to third parties. In the April 29 crash, two companies acted as brokers between the tour organizer and the bus operator. MLIT is organized into the following bureaus: Minister's Secretariat Policy Bureau National and Regional Policy Bureau Land Economy and Construction and Engineering Industry Bureau City Bureau Water and Disaster Management Bureau Road Bureau Housing Bureau Railway Bureau Road Transport Bureau Maritime Bureau Ports and Harbours Bureau Civil Aviation Bureau Hokkaido Bureau Director-General for Policy Planning Director-General for International Affairs Japan Transport Safety Board Japan Tourism Agency Japan Meteorological Agency Japan Coast Guard National Institute for Sea Training Official website Official website Ministry of Transport at the Wayback Machine