The Religious Significance Of Buddhism In Kumano Kodo In Japan

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Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and many diverse religions are worshipped by people all around the globe. One of the common types of religious practice is known as a pilgrimage, which is a pure representation of devotion to the religion in motion (textbook). A pilgrimage is a sacred journey or travelling to a holy site for the purpose of obtaining enlightenment, proving fidelity, and potentially witnessing or experiencing a holy miracle. Generally, a shrine or location of religious significance is the destination of a holy journey. These sites are typically located in a transitional area between the natural and supernatural zones, such as mountaintops like the snow-capped volcanic cone of Mountain Fuji in Japan where it seems to be…show more content…
The travelling route includes a modern city of Osaka, the mountain temple of Koyasan and the Japanese Imperial Shrine at Ise in the southern part of the Kii Peninsula. Kumano Sanzan, the focal point of the pilgrimage, consists of three grand shrines: Hongu-taisha, Hayatama-taisha and Nachi-taisha. Kumano Kodo pilgrimage is religiously associated with Buddha and Shinto, which are two popular religions in Japan. Buddhism involves many different traditions, beliefs and spiritual practices in relation to teachings about Buddha. Buddhist ethics include six virtues – charity, observance of the precepts, patience, devotion, meditation, and wisdom. These doctrines are frequently found and depicted in the mountains along the Kumano route. For example, there are statues of Buddhas in the theme of death and rebirth where religious practices are…show more content…
The town of Koyasan, the starting location of Kumano Kodo pilgrimage, was once a women-only pilgrimage route. Today, it is a popular monastic place that Priest Kukai, the founder of Esoteric Buddhism, established 12 centuries ago. It has a university for religious studies. This signifies how religiously significant this town or location is as it holds spiritual meaning and has dedicated religious school. Also, the largest cemetery in Japan could be found in Koyasan which is located in Okuno-in. There are over 200,000 tombstones with a row of statues known as mizumuke Jizo – Japanese deity who reduces people’s suffering- where an individual can pray for departed family members. The grounds are lit with multiples of lanterns symbolizing the spirits of the dead. This sanctuary highly contributes to the significance of spirits and after-life since it is exclusively associated with death. In the dawn, there are the sutra chanting and goma fire ritual, where people could write their wishes on a wooden stick known as goma-gi. The monks then burn them to portray the burning of the source of people’s suffering by Buddha. This is a significant ritual in an anthropological aspect, allowing people to participate in religious acts during the course of a
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