Distribution of Buddhist Temples and Shinto Shrines in Niigata Prefecture and the Division of the Region

ODA Masayasu

@Geographical division of a prefectural area from a religious viewpoint was once discussed by Matsui (1993) in the case of Niigata, which, however, lacks the description of the dividing process. This paper aims to reexamine his argument and to draw dividing lines on the map of Niigata Prefecture in terms of Buddhism and Shinto based on the distribution of temples and shrines. Firstly, the author expresses his view on the conceptual difference between gclassification of regionsh and gdivision of the regionh and on the method of dividing the region geographically. Concerning Buddhism, after surveying the distribution of temples by denomination, he classifies 112 municipalities according to the denomination with the largest number of temples. Based on the classification map, the division map of the region is made, where the Prefecture is divided into 9 subregions. As for Shinto as well, municipalities are classified by the name of shrine with the largest number of shrines, and the geographical division of the Prefecture is proposed as the map which consists of 10 subregions. Lastly, the paper refers to the meaning of the integration of the division by temples and that by shrines.