Shikoku Pilgrimage, Temples 20 – 22


Diagongen or Shrine for the Cat


In the early morning, I walked up the mountain to Kakurinji (temple 20). It was a beautiful hike.














Entrance gate to Kakurinji.


Kakurinji (temple 20) and Taiyūji (temple 21) are two mountain temples separated by a valley with the Naka River flowing through it. Huge cedar trees, moss covered rocks and grounds, and crisp and clear air are all-present in the incredible silence at this altitude. I love mountain temples!








A crane in front of the hondo or main hall of Kakurinji. Legend says that two cranes once protected a statue of Jizo Bosatsu with their wings. Kōbō Daishi carved a larger statue of Jizo Bosatsu after this event.




Inside the daishido where Kōbō Daishi resides





Three story pagoda of Kakurinji




Detail of the fantastic woodwork of the pagoda





The Naka River with crystal clear water. Not many rivers in Japan are free to flow naturally. Concrete walls control many riverbeds.




Entrance gate to Tairūji. Cedar trees are even more  powerful here and create a mystical atmosphere.






Little caves created by the tree roots with Jizōs, Buddhas and other statues.



One of the buildings of Tairyūji (probably hōndō)



In Tairyūji, I met Yuko’s friend Hiroko-san and her daughter. They came up the mountain in a cable car to meet me. Hiroko-san brought me a nice grey hat since my black one was too big for me. I gave her my black one, which fitted her perfectly.



Hiroko-san, her daughter and I with my new hat.



Just by pure coincidence, I met Hiroko-san and her daughter again later on a road in the valley. They were driving to see the Diagongen Jinja, a Shinton Shrine of the Cat God and they invited me to go with them.




The color red is typical for Jinjas.




There are several shrines in Japan for the veneration of cats. Most probably, cats are venerated because of their night vision. In the photo above, you see the statue of the Cat God, which is said to have curative power. If one has an ailment, one rubs the sick body part against the cat and the body part will be healed. Pieces of papers containing people’s wishes are attached to the Cat God and the nearby fir tree. This custom is also done in other temples.




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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