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.