Shikoku Pilgrimage, Temples 25 – 27

 Beauty of Impermanence 



 Along the shore of the Pacific Ocean, weather can be severe.  When I left Cape Muroto, for miles I walked in heavy rain. It did not bother me because I was well equipped.




Fish market after Cape Muroto







Orchards of loquat fruit trees






In front of the hōndō of Kongōchōji (temple 26).





On the temple ground was also an iron kettle where  legend says that Kūkai turned three cups of rice into 10 000 cups.




Trunks of a camellia tree with knots like cancer. People pray here for the cure of cancer




A typhoon like storm came up one time, blowing boxes around and lifting my rain cape over my head. For a short time, I could not see anything anymore. It was dangerous to walk. Kuniko-san, a woman I met at the temple before, called a taxi to take us to the ryokan.








Kuniko-san calling a taxi




Life is not easy for people living in this area.  Many production sites and homes are abandoned and deteriorating.  However, I often found beauty in the deterioration and impermanence. It reminded me of the Japanese aesthetics based on imperfection, impermanence and incompleteness.





Even in a trashed up area, people do gardening on a tiny spot of earth.




A bathtub in the middle of nowhere.




Very often, everything in the home was left after the people died. The deteriorating house was often taken over by nature. Sometimes, an abandoned house was used to store even more trash.  it was hard  to see beauty in these sites.




An abandoned boat










Despite the poverty in this place, there was a very warm, welcoming spirit.  In one of the shacks along the way, in a room full of origami, drawings and life size puppets, the ohenros could take a rest and have hot coffee or tea as an osettai.






At a beautiful sea restaurant, I had tea and cake.


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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    • yes, it is visible in so many different ways – food, ikebana, architecture, spaces inside the house….
      I was intrigued by the beauty of contemporary architecture.Unfortunately, the buildings constructed after
      the war do not show much aesthetics. Good to hear from you, Erica. I just came back to Vienna today.


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