Kumano Kodo II

We walk from Takahara to Chikatsuyu and will stay at the Minshuko Nakano, a basic lodge.

We walk through mountain forests and ridge-top communities.

Walking meditation.image
Rice paddy

image

An Oji, subsidiary shrine

image

Close-up of left statue (this multi-arm statue reflects an early Buddhist/India influence)

Descending on the Kumano Kodo

Purification for an oji

Meditation

Walking through a community — fish

image

Jizo statue built to mark the place where a pilgrim died from hunger in 1854. He had placed an oval coin (Koban) in his mouth — so this statue is known as the Koban Jizo.

image
image

image

The left statue shows the retired Emperor Kazan (who completed the pilgrimage). He is portrayed as a boy riding a horse and a cow. Beside him is a statue of the founder of a mountain ascetic practice.

image

We stay in Ckikatsuyu — fish are grilled for supper.

image

Starting off dinner with sashimi (raw fish) — good!

image

Fish — very good.
image

More fish — very good!

We take a bus to a cultural center. We see exhibits explaining the Kumano Kodo trek.

image

Main Deities — each of the three Shinto shrines has its own deity. Shintoism has a local flavor that has been integrated though the adoptation of Buddhism. Under the influence of Buddhism, the local deities were thought to be incarnations of the Buddha — and could be honored within the context of Buddhism.

image
Old-time garb

image

We walk the Kumano Kodo — high elevation — we are hoping to catch a glimpse of the great shrine.

image

Pilgrims used to fall on their knees when they first saw the great torii, Oyunohara, outside of Kumano Hongu Taisha.

image

You can see the great torii Oyunohara, the largest torii in Japan.

image

Our lunch — rice wrapped in sea weed and pickled takana mustard leaves (meharizushi) prepared for us at the lodge.

image

Purification for entering the shrine area.

image

Entering Kumano Hongu Taisha

image

The austere main shrine


We watch a tour leader instruct participants — they stand in line, waiting, in turn, to ring the bell, bow, pray, and clap their hands. To the right, a cult group, dressed in white, prays in formation and claps in unison.

The tour group stands in line; each individual rings the bell and prays.

There are many small religious sects in Japan — some of which become mainstream.

Ueshiba Morihel, founder of Aikido, was born in this area (Tanabe). Aikido is a philosophical system and martial art that uses the opponent’s energy against him.

image

The great torii Oyunohara, site of the original shrine grounds, now has rice beside it.

image

I watch a man planting rice.

image

The rice field contains footprints.

Human religions are created by humans. The forms that religions take reflect the culture of each society’s practitioners. Those who look deeply inside themselves perceive the inner source that gives rise to religion.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s