Pilgrimage's Role in Development of Buddhism in Japan

Religion and Theology
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Pilgrimage’s Role in Development of Buddhism in Japan  Name: Course: College: Instructor: Date: Introduction Pilgrimage has been defined as a journey or a search for a great spiritual or moral significance among people. Typically, pilgrimage is a journey to some locations of importance to someone’s faith and beliefs such as shrines (Shahshahani 2011).


Such places are perceived as having some special spiritual power. At such a place, the faithful of the religion in question believe that miracles are witnessed, thus all should endeavor to walk the journey towards the place, thus the pilgrimage (Webb, 2001). In almost all religions, the destiny of the pilgrimage is perceived to be a holy land, such as Jerusalem and Mecca for Christians and Muslims respectively. Background Within Japanese society, the pilgrimages could be divided into two major categories. The first category is epitomized by the journey to a total of 33 sites that are sacred to the Kenon in the Western region of Japan and the journey to 88 Shikoku Holy Sites, in which the sojourner makes a circuit of series of holy places and temples, sometimes separated by a huge distance in an established order. The order of doing the pilgrimages to various holy places and temples is quite an important feature: One cannot just move from one place to another at own convenience (Cole, 2000; Covell 2005). The second type of pilgrimage is to some meticulous holy places. The pilgrimage to the second category include to the famous Ise Shrine (Mie), Kumano Sanzan (Wakayama), Mt. Fuji and Mt. Koya (Kii Peninsula Wakayama) among some other holy mountains (Swanson & Chilson 2006). ...
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