Shugendo and Folk Religion

Author: Miyake Hitoshi
Editor/Author: Gaynor Sekimori
Price: JPY 6,500
Publication date: March 25, 2005
ISBN: 4-7664-1128-5 C3014
Hardcover 230 X 55 200pages
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“Mandala” is a Buddhist word originally meaning “essence of the universe”. As I have mentioned above, Japanese folk religion considers that deities dwell in the mountains and the core theme of its festivals is the invitation of the mountain deity to descend to the village shrine as the protector of the harvest. As well, villagers looked to religious practitioners who gained supranormal powers through ascetic practice in the mountains for spiritual and material help through their magico-religious services. Shugendo grew up out of this process as a form of mountain religion unique to Japan, and it has influenced a great number of the new religions that developed in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This volume focuses on Japanese folk religion and Shugendo as expressions of the essence of Japanese religiosity and in this sense the term “mandala of the mountain” has been used.
I hope that this work will lead an English-speaking readership to a deeper understanding of Japanese religion and culture and of the Japanese people themselves.
Gaynor Sekimori


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