Corona Virus and the Shikoku Pilgrimage

It has been news for several days now but it needs repeating and reporting on this site.

The Shikoku 88 Buddhist Temple Pilgrimage is shut down for the time being due to the Corona Virus Pandemic. This is likely no surprise to most, and it is an unfortunate necessity for everyone to be safe and healthy as we all do our part to get through these trying and difficult months.

Oddly enough, I feel rather optimistic despite this unhappy news. We are going to find a way to get through this and come through the other side. A vaccine will be created and home cures like injecting oneself with household cleaners will not be needed. The world may heed the good advice of doctors to treat viruses carefully, and to be sensibly cautious. And hopefully anti-vaccine people will come through this pandemic healthy and whole as well, and then realize that their anti-science attitudes are dangerous and self-destructive.

It is unclear when a vaccine will be ready and accessible, but I would like to hazzard a guess that 18 months from now we can pretty much get back to normal. I would like to believe that a vaccine will be available, and although the corona virus may still infect and travel, people will be better equipped to deal with it.

There may also be need to keep a handy website accessible while you might come to Shikoku in 2022 and it is this one here:

At the time of this posting, Shikoku is doing reasonably well, but the numbers of who might be sick or infected are difficult to truly know. More data on the matter, rather than less, might be a good idea.

In the meantime, I think I will keep doing what we all need to do and that is to stay safe and healthy, to do more reading and research on the pilgrimage in this “down time” and to start making plans for when life can get back to a semblance of “normal”.

Please stay safe and healthy. More to come in the days and weeks ahead!

5 thoughts on “Corona Virus and the Shikoku Pilgrimage

  • This sounds like it was written by an anti-American Marxist Cult member! I’m sure the Pilgrimage will be open in 2021 and without a fake, dangerous vaccine.


  • Hello Jexxica,

    Thank you very much for your comment. I always appreciate people taking time from their busy days to drop a line here.

    I do with, however, to address your charge that I (the author) am “anti-American”, a “Marxist”, or a “cult member”. I think I ought to assure you, and our readers, that I am none of those things. In truth, I find the the thought that you think that I am any of those things is somewhat alarming.

    Let me elucidate.

    I am not “anti-American”, but I am rather anti-fascism, and feel that the current leadership of America is unfit to lead people, as I feel he lacks empathy and compassion as a man. I am deeply disturbed that he has separated parents and children on the Mexican border, and feel that this is an act of considerable cruelty. But I do like America, and I do have many American friends who are kind, and thoughtful, and intelligent. Like many people around the world, I am optimistic that there will be changes in the upcoming November election.

    I am not a “Marxist”. I am actually rather conservative I think. I am a business owner and I am an employer. I believe in democracy and the free market economy. As a business owner and employer I have obligations. I must pay my fair share of taxes, and I must treat our team members in our company with the respect and consideration that they need and deserve. There is nothing “Marxist” about that. I am unsure what you really mean here. Business must be fair, but it must be free to grow and develop too. Businesses must partner with the communities and societies within which they exist, and benefit.

    I am also not a “cult” member. I have studied literature, folklore, religion, spirituality, and philosophy since my 20’s. And I am still a student of all those things. I am interested in a lot of different things, and enjoy active debate and discussion. If we have a chance to meet in person, I think you may be surprised that I am not one who is overly interested in, or supportive of, organized religion. I find the constraints of that much like “a cult”, and as such am not keen to join one. If you feel that I have indeed joined a “cult”, please let me know which one.

    Whether or not the coming vaccine is “dangerous” or “fake” is unknown. To me, and I suspect, to you as well. But one will come and it will be needed. I do not believe that microchips will be put into a vaccine to control us. We already have cell phones full of microchips tracking our every movement anyway. More are likely, just overkill.

    Jexxica, you seem like a normally rational and thoughtful person. I tell you what, when you have a chance to come to Shikoku when the travel bans are lifted, I would like to invite you to meet in person. I would be very happy to host you for a lunch or coffee and we can discuss your objections to what you perceive as being so hostile to your own world-view in what I have written. I also hope that you will have a chance to walk and explore the Shikoku pilgrimage at your own pace, and in your own way. It is a wonderful experience and I think you will find it enriching and rewarding.

    All the best, and thanks again for your note.
    Mark Groenewold


  • Were you deeply disturbed that Obama separated parents and children on the Mexican border, and feel that it was an act of considerable cruelty? I imagine you didn’t even know that or that the photo(s) you were shown were from one of maybe two things Obama got right in his 8-year nightmare for the world and that fact is easy to confirm with minor effort. Japan is fortunate to be an island nation and even so, still, they have a common-sense immigration policy, and visitors are required to have their passports available for inspection at all times the way it should be for a great nation that wishes to remain great. I want to live in Japan but I respect its laws and will not come and demand they accept me and my whole family and provide me with free health care and whatever else I demand. I hope you do not break Japan’s strict illegal drug laws, Japan is not Canada! You are not anti-fascism and I imagine it’s due to your ignorance of the definition. Freedom is fascism’s opposite and if you support the Marxist Democrat American Cult, you support fascism in all its horrific deadly glory.

    Cult members such as yourself do not realize they have been brainwashed. They and you just parrot the lies you have heard from your Cult masters and their minions. I assure you, that most of the things you believe to be truths are lies and it is a sin to bear false witness against thy neighbor as you do. When you demonize someone, you should be darn sure of your opinions by listening to opposing views before assassinating a great person’s character and motives. I will pray for your salvation, hope you find a way out and are able to atone, though you have done much damage to the wonderful Japanese people with your lying rhetoric. Thank goodness, as you will see, Americans, unlike Canadians, are not that gullible and we will re-elect by a landslide, one of the greatest Presidents in American history, who like President Lincoln will have saved our Republic from ruin. It is a shame that IF you did indeed do the Pilgrimage as you claim, you managed to come away with such anger, confusion, and hate. I believe you need to do the Pilgrimage in reverse and hopefully will come to your senses. Due to health issues, I am not able to walk the entire Pilgrimage at once like a true Henro but I’ve been doing it piecemeal and gratefully giving O-Settai every year since 2015 sans 2020 due to all but Sweden’s irrational response to Communist China’s irresponsibility. There have been countless such flu-like incidents throughout history and COVID-19 is no worse than most, it’s the reactions that have been most harmful to the people of earth. Sadly, humans are very bad at learning from history which is why we tend to repeat the worst parts of it. Peace and prayers.


    • Ok, Jexxica, I think that I will not get far in discussing this with you too much further. I fear that I am unable to convince you that I am not a fascist, likely much in the same way I could not convince you that I am not a Martian. I am sorry that I cannot apologize for my lack of reverence you hold for the “Dear Leader” of America, and I hope that I do my best to be honest and truthful in my writing. You may disagree, as is your right. Where we do agree, however, is that we must watch history very careful lest we do indeed repeat it. From my point of view, we need to watch very carefully how authoritarianism rose to power in Western Europe in the 1930’s, for it is the very mirror of what we see going on today. Thanks also for the “peace and prayers”. Much appreciated. My offer still stands should you find yourself here in Shikoku again. Travel safe and be well.


    • Dear All,
      For anyone following this thread of discussion I am sorry but I have had little choice but to block Jexxica from further commenting on this site. I fear I may be dealing with an Internet troll. In her last message here (now deleted) I was accused of being an anti-Semite. Having grandparents that suffered in Europe during WW2 and who later immigrated to Canada I find the comments particularly offensive. While I am usually very willing to discuss and explore different ways of looking at the world, I also feel that we truly are at a crossroads in our global understanding of what is “freedom”, “democracy”, and “justice”.

      I realize that there are people who support the current administration in America. I am Canadian, but also like you, a citizen of the world. I do not believe that what we are seeing in that place is democratic, trustworthy, or safe for our planet. And I am truly concerned that we are becoming overly comfortable with authoritarianism. These are historical swings in our collective existence. At this point we have swerved too far in one direction, the answer is not a wild swerve in the other. Moderation, temperance, prudence, and calm thinking will center us all. And the centering of things is a stable touchstone from which one can identify where they may stand or believe on a stable spectrum. A walk on the pilgrimage may clear the mind and help us each find our “center”.

      We have to live with each other in this world, especially when things are hard. Refusing to listen, ramping up rhetoric, and making wild accusations that someone you hardly know on the other side of the world is defined with an “-ism”, is dangerous, dishonest, and frankly, a little rude.

      Let’s get back on track with our collective exploration, understanding, and celebration of finding our own way, and cheering on others around us with positivity, optimism, and clear thought.

      Thanks all, and have a great day. I think I’ll take a nap for a while now.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s