Publication details

Kumano as a distinctive pilgrimage area in medieval Japan



Year of publication 2016
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description The mountainous area of Kumano in central Japan has served as a distinctive pilgrimage site that held the position for centuries. No tradition within the Japanese religious mosaique has omitted Kumano as its important pilgrimage site; it is equally prominent in Buddhism as well as in Shinto and the ascetic sect of Shugendo, and it also holds the unique primacy as a pilgrimage site that was open for women. Hence, it has historically been the sole area in Japan that was visited by both men- and women-pilgrims, elevating it not only to a popular pilgrimage site, but truly a distinct religious and cultural centre. Therefore, it is my aim to present the Kumano area of medieval Japan based on its varied contextual meaning, as well as to explore it as viewed by its visitors, the pilgrims.
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