Is the “Omairingu” project inspiring or ridiculous?
The Shikoku Henro is a Buddhist Pilgrimage visiting eighty eight Buddhist Temples in Shikoku to commemorate one of the most famous Japanese Buddhist Monks - Kūkai as known as Kōbō-Daishi. This pilgrimage is a training bringing both physical and spiritual benefits to pilgrims through its intensive process. Nevertheless, due to the consequences of rapid modernization in Japan, cultural practices like Shikoku Henro are at threats of erosion because of the increasing concentration of Japanese people on fulfilling material life rather than enriching spiritual experience. Facing challenges of being eternally forgotten, Shikoku Pilgrimage needs a greater dynamic to continue preserving its quintessence. One of the possible solutions that were already implemented is giving birth to the “Omairingu” manga, anime and cosplay pilgrimage in attempts to reintroduce this holy practice in a more pop-cultural approach. However, the “Omairingu” concept is quite controversial among traditional pilgrims and pop-culture fans on how much is too much to deliver sacred images. For this controversy, this research will examine the cultural and economic impacts of “Omairingu” on the…show more content… Based on Robert Ellwood’s (2008, 226) point of view as “In Japan, religion is something done, not just thought, seen, or believed. Its “doing” is by means of specific objects or gestures that bear religious meanings, not thing else”, using traditional equipments means preserving sacred meanings of the pilgrimage. Any attempts to modify pilgrim’s belongings may lead to an unexpected bias in the religious meanings. From these two perspectives, what I believe that Kūkai would say is not critics but sincere and constructive suggestion bringing benefits to people from both