Japanese Buddhist Pilgrimage - Michael Pye

Japanese Buddhist Pilgrimage - Michael Pye

Going Round to Visit Kannon-Sama

Japanese Buddhist Pilgrimage - Michael Pye

Michael Pye [+-]
Marburg University, (Emeritus) and Otani University
Michael Pye is Professor (emeritus) at Marburg University and a visiting Research Associate of Ōtani University in Kyōto. His writings have ranged widely over problems in the study of religions, studies in Buddhist thought and many aspects of contemporary Japanese religion. His major publications include Skilful Means and Emerging from Meditation.


This chapter looks at some of the most well-known Buddhist circulatory pilgrimage routes in Japan, namely those which focus on the bodhisattva Kannon, or Kanzeon. The most famous of the Japanese pilgrimage routes devoted to this bodhisattva is that of the Saikoku Thirty-three Spiritual Sites, reputedly founded in about 718 by the monk Tokudō Shōnin, and many others are modelled on this one. The closest and most important imitations of the Saikoku pilgrimage are known as the Bandō Thirty-three Spiritual Sites, which are a widely dispersed string of temples in eastern Japan, and the Chichibu Thirty-four Spiritual Sites which are located relatively close to each other in and around the city of Chichibu not far from Tokyo. The chapter looks at other Kannon-sama routes, the Izumo, Kamakura and Izu Kannon routes and miniature Kannon-sama routes and at the denominational spread of these routes.

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Pye, Michael . Going Round to Visit Kannon-Sama. Japanese Buddhist Pilgrimage. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 29-74 Feb 2015. ISBN 9781845539177. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=24521. Date accessed: 10 Dec 2023 doi: 10.1558/equinox.24521. Feb 2015

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