Chief Priest of the Kumano Hongu Taisha Grand Shrine
1956 - Ietaka Kuki was born in Wakayama Prefecture.
1979 - Kuki graduated from the Kokugakuin University Faculty of Shinto Studies and was accepted into service as a priest at Meiji Shrine.
1985 - Kuki was accepted into service as a priest at the Kumano Hongu Taisha Grand Shrine.
2001 - Kuki was made Chief Priest of the Kumano Hongu Taisha Grand Shrine.
March 2016 - Kuki was appointed as the head of Wakayama Prefecture’s Jinja-cho (local administrative authority for shrines).
2017 - Kuki was appointed as the head of the Nanki chapter of the Chado Urasenke Tankokai Association (tea ceremony).
With the arrival of the new “Reiwa (beautiful harmony)” era, it is incumbent upon Japan to play an ever-larger role in a world of worsening chaos and confusion. It just so happens that in the same year as the start of the Reiwa era, the sacred regions of Kumano and Koyasan marked the 15th anniversary of their inclusion on the list of World Heritages. As Japan seeks to play its part in helping the world, the spirit of, and approach to, unity between the Buddhist and Shinto faith that this region embodies can be of great help as an instructional example to tell people about throughout Japan and overseas.
Next year there will be a great many people from around the world visiting Japan for the Tokyo Olympics. I think the absolute best way of conveying the example of Kumano and Koyasan will be by offering hospitality to the spectators who will visit this region during the Games; that way they will go back to their countries and tell others about the warmth and charm that they found here.
It is my heartfelt prayer that, with the help of the Group of 100 Devotees of Koyasan and Kumano, as well as all other like-minded people, we can expand and protect the splendor of this region and prompt the next generation of children to also treasure and preserve its valuable cultural property and ancient, pristine nature.