Artist Tali Landsman and Shikoku

Tali Landsman is a remarkable person. She walks the earth. Really. She goes everywhere. She has walked pilgrimages all over the world. All over Europe and Asia she has trekked for many days. She is also a very interesting artist too.

I’m not an artist myself, but I like art. I like looking at art, and I like people who make art.

Her site is fun, and varied, and goes in all directions. I lost myself in here for the better part of an hour. It was well spent.

https://talilandsmanart.com/2016/05/06/and-so-it-begins-nan-jin-desu-ka-japanese-for-how-many-are-in-your-party/

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atsushi ASH: GREAT Youtube Ohenro

This is really Shikoku Pilgrimage Youtube gold for walking pilgrims in Shikoku. The creator, atsushi ASH, did an amazing job in documenting his 42 day trek around Shikoku. His documentary starts from Kanto and then comes to “The Pure Land”. The entire thing is in Japanese, but just switch on the English subtitles and enjoy the journey.

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

If you would like to follow Atsushi-san on his adventures please also check out his blog of his cycling journeys in Japan too! http://nippon-around.blog.jp/

 

 

Fantastic Shikoku Pilgrim on Instagram

This is great.

https://www.instagram.com/epicwalkswithshin/

Shinichirou Tanaka is the real thing. A young fully bilingual Japanese man with huge life experience overseas he brings to us his take to the Shikoku Pilgrimage. Not only does he experience and explore Shikoku, but he also makes a very cool and dramatic record of his pilgrimage. I thought that was astonishing. Make sure to check out the moving maps on his Instagram page!

I am so deeply encouraged for the next generation, and am grateful to see Tanaka-san on the “Ohenro scene”. We are truly entering the digital age here on the Ohenro trail.

He has a great bio written about him at https://charitymiles.org/blog/shinichirotanaka/ . So for Tanaka-san, this experience is not just about HIM and his own experiences. It is about doing things for others too. Of course, the pilgrimage is a great way to explore and understand yourself. But Tanaka-san takes it beyond to where the sentiments of the Heart Sutra make sense: the abdication of pride and selfish desire for spotlight, and putting others before self. We could use much more of that in the world.

Tanaka-san, you are a remarkable man. Thanks so much for letting me share part of your story here. It was great chatting with you and I am very much looking forward to a meet-up when you come through next! Keep us posted on your adventures, please.

Here is picture of Tanaka Shinichirou with his grandmother who lives here in Shikoku.

Beautiful!

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Oliver Dunskus: For Germany with Ohenro Love

If you are German, or can read the language, and are interested in the adventure of a lifetime, you might consider reading a book by Oliver Dunskus “Die 88 Tempel von Shikoku: Ein Reiseführer für Pilger – Ausgabe 2019″. Here are links for the book and for the author (He has also written about Wes Montgomery! How cool!)

https://www.amazon.com/Die-Tempel-Von-Shikoku-German/dp/374811043X/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=oliver+dunskus&qid=1556864763&s=books&sr=1-1-fkmrnull

https://www.amazon.de/Oliver-Dunskus/e/B07MNTQKDD?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1567469245&sr=8-1

The number of pilgrims coming to Shikoku is beginning to increase. And there is perhaps a little anxiety on both sides of the equation. Incoming travellers may have a lot of questions about what to do, how to do it, how to travel, how to be a good pilgrim, where to stay, what is ok and what is not? And on the Japanese side of the question, locals throughout Shikoku may be concerned about an increase of non-Japanese people coming through their neighbourhoods and communities.

It is reasonable to say that both sides have concerns. But as with so many other things, information and education can solve a lot of these worries. I want to thank Oliver for putting out his book to make things clearer, and helpful for German visitors (hopefully for English speaking visitors too as a possible translation is coming…). It’s a great service, so if you can read the language, please check it out.

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Dym Sensei and Youtube

I would like to introduce to you one of the most prolific Youtube Ohenro I have ever seen. This is Dym Sensei, and his channel is a wealth of all sorts of information regarding Japanese legend, folklore, and Noh theatre. I am just beginning to scratch the surface of his site, but it is DEEP. He is a professor of Japanese history at Sacramento State University, and a tremendous resource of information. Watching a ton of his Ohenro videos I am seeing how he is also a very good and patient teacher. It comes through his commentary and is quite enjoyable to watch.

Check out the channel at: https://www.youtube.com/user/Dymsensei/featured

His Ohenro Channel is here: https://www.youtube.com/user/Dymsensei/featured

Top Ohenro Information Site

If you are coming to Shikoku to walk the 88 Temple Pilgrimage route there is one website that stands way above the rest. It is this one:

http://www.shikokuhenrotrail.com/index.html

David Turkington is the mastermind behind the site and he is tremendously well-read, articulate, helpful, non-preachy, and a regular good guy. I even corresponded with him recently and asked for some help in advising ohenro coming this way and he said, “Sure thing. No problem”. That is very good news.

So while you likely have a ton of questions about the pilgrimage, what to wear, which way to go, what to look out for, how to get from place A to place B, do yourself a HUGE favour, bookmark his site, and read everything there. It’s pilgrim gold.

And here is Dave’s blog and contact information:

http://www.shikokuhenrotrail.com/shikoku/contactInfo.html

http://essentiallynothing.blogspot.com

Matsushita Naoyuki: Visiting the Sacred Sites of Kukai

Deciding to come to Shikoku to walk the path of Kukai, and visit the 88 temples on the trail is a serious undertaking. One does not simply walk around Shikoku. One must be prepared. One must read well. One must most certainly get this book. Don’t worry, on Kindle it is super cheap. It’ll cost you less than a single bento lunch. And it will be super worth-it.

Matsushita Naoyuki (with kind assistance of David Moreton) bring this MUST-READ book to light. It is called “Visiting the Sacred Sites of Kukai”. Understated in the title, but invaluable in content, you really must read this book through and through, take the notes you need to, and prepare what you need for the trek of your life. I cannot recommend this book more. Go to Amazon and order henceforth:

While the style of the book is not super engaging there is a ton of very helpful hints and advice, as well as highly useful information with details on all the things that will make your pilgrimage effective, worthwhile, and enriching. Don’t let that stop you for a moment. Remember that the author’s native tongue is not English, and just be grateful that this book is out there to help you get ready for an event that may change you forever. When visiting a temple on the route, say a quiet word of thanks, and drop a coin in the temple box, as you make your way around Shikoku. Remember everything here that Matsushita-san is teaching you.

And of course, travel safe!