Sonoda Minoru was born in 1936 into a long lineage of Shinto priests. He is at present hereditary High Priest (Guji) of the Chichibu Shrine in Saitama prefecture. Sonoda is also Professor of Liberal Arts in the Faculty of Arts at Kyoto University. Sonoda took his B.A., M.A., as well as the Doctorate at Tokyo University in 1965. Between 1965 and 1990 he taught in the Department of Shinto studies at Kokugakuin University in Tokyo. He has published widely, including a book on The Phenomenology of Ritual (1990), and has edited many collections and anthologies on Shinto. Well versed in Western theorizing on ritual and religious experience, Sonoda has brought a fresh, international approach to the study of Shinto. He Sonoda participated in the Rio conference in 1992 as a representative of the Shinto community.