Dana Mirsalis completed her B.A. in East Asian Studies at Brown University and her M.A. in Regional Studies East Asia at Harvard University. Her research area is modern Japanese religion. Her master's dissertation focused on gender and authority in Ōmoto during their "chinkon kishin boom" of 1916 to 1921. Her doctoral dissertation uses archival and ethnographic research to examine the process by which the Shinto priesthood has been gendered from 1946 to the present as well as the ways in which female priests' roles are imagined by Shinto institutions, parishioners, and priests themselves.