Shikoku Pilgrimage (Sacred Journeys)

Shikoku Pilgrimage

This is part of the Sacred Journeys series in which Bruce Feiler joins pilgrims from different parts of the world on their pilgrimages.

This one concerns the Shikoku pilgrimage in Japan, one of the longest and most grueling, at least if you go by foot, which is the traditional way.

These days, of course, most people use buses, trains, cars and bikes to get round, but some still prefer to do it the long and slow way.

The film is somewhat different from another film I showed earlier about the same pilgrimage which was concerned mainly with Japanese pilgrims.

Here Bruce travels with Americans, some Buddhist and many not Buddhist, as they make the trip round the 88 temples along the route.

He gives a lot of background to the story of Kūkai (Kobo Daishi), who was born here, and in whose honour the pilgrimage is made.

One of the most interesting aspects of the film is that many of the pilgrims along the way, realise the destination is not the object of their walk, but the journey itself is the important thing.


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