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!

Dr. Ludvik and The Shikoku Pilgrimage

Here is a new and excellent article on the Shikoku 88 Buddhist Temple Pilgrimage:

https://kyotojournal.org/culture-arts/journeys-of-reverence-a-daughter-and-mothers-decades-on-the-shikoku-henro-pilgrimage/?fbclid=IwAR3EvNRc1ae7gxWGs6aMybACzsdOwXjLzceHKPXFksHh3MWpmgyWG0N3N34

Very intelligently written, and a beautiful testament to a mother and daughter life on the Shikoku Pilgrimage. I was going to write “experience” or “journey”, but that sounds too lightweight for what these two women have done over the years. Professor Ludvik and her mother have walked the pilgrimage more than a dozen times, not like this chucklehead who only did it by bus, and that was on the weekends over the course of a year.

There are some serious people who come to walk the paths of Kukai, and I am absolutely fascinated by their stories. I am tempted to pledge that I too will one day do it on foot, but such promises ought not be made lightly. Walking the pilgrimage and enduring that kind of suffering is no easy matter.

I might do it on motorcycle though…

Thank you Dr. Ludvik for the great article, and the beautiful photography within. The writing is excellent. By all means, please read the article to see how a serious ohenro gets it done.

Taken from the Kyoto Journal article, Dr. Ludvik’s bio:

CATHERINE LUDVIK obtained a Ph.D. at the University of Toronto and teaches Japanese religion, visual arts, and culture at the Stanford Program in Kyoto, Doshisha University, and Kyoto Sangyo University. Spanning Indian and Japanese religions and their visual arts, her research interests focus on the metamorphoses of the originally Indian goddess Sarasvatī/Benzaiten in the texts, images and rituals of Japan (see KJ62), as well as on the circumambulating practice (sennichi kaihōgyō) of the monks of Mt. Hiei and the Shikoku Henro pilgrimage.

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