Shikoku Pilgrimage, temple 19


Meeting Old Japan 


The walk today was leading through a dense bamboo forest.





Signs on the path not written in Japanese were essential for orientation. The pointing finger in the stone marker showed the way to temple 18.




Sometimes people found interesting solutions to their storage problems



Vending machines for drinks are often placed along the road. One can even buy hot coffee or tea. Obviously, hardly any German speaking people are buying drinks, otherwise the company would not choose the name “Gift” for the drink. In German it means poison.





Throughout the entire pilgrimage I received gifts of all kinds. It is an old custom to give osettai (gifts) to the pilgrims and expected that these will not be rejected. In return, the ohenro hands a name slip over to the person whom he or she received the gift. One time, the owner of a bakery invited me and other pilgrims into his shop and served free tea and cookies.







As an example, I received all the items above as gifts during one day- amazing! The woman who gave me the black hat also drove me through Tokushima City. I was very glad that I did not have to walk on the never-ending city streets.





On the way to Tatsueji (temple 19), I walked through a bamboo forest and again met the group of pilgrims from the previous temple who had been traveling on bus.





Mainly old people populate the rural area of Japan. I always enjoyed communicating with them, even though I didn’t speak Japanese.   These two women stood in front of a small cemetery.





Discarding trash is a big problem in the rural areas of Shikoku. There seems not to betrash services for big items like the ones you see on the photos. Therefore, trash is discarded everywhere – in abandoned houses, rusted cars, or dumped just on the side of the street.





I love the way the people in the rural area in Shikoku dry their cloth – so efficient with space.


The night before walking up the two mountain temples Kakurinji and Tairyūji, I slept at Sakamoto, the most charming little village. The village not only consisted of typical Japanese wooden houses, but also of an abundance of dolls, which were used in celebratory festivals. The festival of dolls, called Hinamatsuri, is celebrated every year in Japan on March 3rd 





Main street of the village of Sakamoto, in which you can typically see many electric polls. I was told that the reason why electric lines are not buried or hidden somehow is that it is easier to repair them after earthquakes. In front of every shop of the main street, dolls were shown surrounded by blooming branches.
















Hinamatsuri can be traced back to the Heian period (794 – 1185) when straw Hina dolls where placed on small boats and sent down a river towards the sea so that they would take away troubles and bad spirits.





At the end of the day, after uforo (hot bath) and dinner with other pilgrims, I retreated into my tatami room to write my diary and drink a cup of tea. The outfit I am wearing is a cotton yukata and a jacket over it.







Born and raised in a village along the Danube in Austria, Traude Wild soon ventured out into the world. After a two-year program for tourism in Klesheim/Salzburg, she spent nearly a year in South Africa and Namibia. By returning back to Austria, she acquired a Master of Economics at the University of Vienna. After moving to the United States with her four children, she studied Art History at Arizona State University and stayed in the United States for fourteen years. Here, she was teaching Art History in several Universities like Webster University and University of Missouri-St. Louis. Now, she lives partially in Arizona and Vienna and works together with her husband for the University of South-Carolina, Moore School of business as Adjunct Professor organising and leading Study tours in Central Europe. She also teaches at the Sigmund Freud University in Vienna. Since 1999, she is practicing Zen meditation in the lineage of Katagiri Roshi. She loves to hike and to write and is a student of Natalie Goldberg. During her often many weeks long hikes she brings her awareness into the Here and Now, describing her experiences in an authentic way. She loves to walk pilgrimages. The longest hike so far was the 1,400 km long 88 Temple pilgrimage in Shikoku, Japan in 2016.

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