Event Detail


The Shikoku Pilgrimage: Japan's Sacred Trail

John Lander
Tuesday, 26 Oct 2021
7.00 pm to 8.00 pm
The event is free of charge for members. For members' guests or non members, the registration fee is $50. The webinar link is going to be sent to members, members' guests and non members at 12.30 pm on Tue, 26 Oct.
We are delighted to welcome John Lander to RGS-HK again to tell the extraordinary story of the Shikoku Pilgrimage, one of the few circular pilgrimages in the world, around Shikoku Island. At 1,200 km in length, the trail includes 88 temples and passes through diverse countryside such as idyllic bamboo groves, deserted beaches and ordinary Japanese neighbourhoods.

There is a long tradition of pilgrimage in Japan, dating back at least to the time of the renowned monk, poet and philosopher Kobo Daishi (774-825), who is particularly associated with this trail.  The pilgrimage is undertaken for many reasons – to have a time of reflection away from everyday life, as a spiritual journey or as a healing period after a traumatic life experience. Along the way, pilgrims encounter ordinary Japanese people and learn to understand the custom of o-settai, or charitable giving.

John has visited and recorded every temple on the trail with evocative images, as well as providing fascinating details about the origin of the trail and what the pilgrimage means to the thousands who undertake it every year.

John Lander was born on the prairies of Illinois, USA, with a longing for oceans, the exotic and mountains.   He was educated in San Francisco and France and has resided for his adult life in Japan.  Based in Kamakura, he has devoted his career to photography and writing.  

The opinions expressed in this talk are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of the Royal Geographical Society - Hong Kong.       

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