{Shikoku Hachijūhachikasho Meguri}


General Shikoku Pilgrimage Information:


Biographical Information about Kūkai/Kōbō Daishi:

Religious Foundations & General Japanese Buddhism:

The Heart Sutra:
Heart Sutra is (no pun intended) the heart of this pilgrimage. It is chanted by virtually every henro at both the Daishdō and the Hondō of every temple. The deeper our understanding of it's intent and meaning, the deeper our potential realization while on the trail. Here are some of the books that try to make sense of it.

Books on other pilgrimages and pilgrimage in general


    Walking With Kukai: A Pilgrimage In Japan..
A video about the henro michi available at the Dutch Buddhist Broadcast Foundation website. From the website: "Documentary about the Kukai Pilgrimage. Each year, tens of thousands of people follow the route plotted out by the buddhist monk Kukai centuries ago. By car, by foot, in a bus or on a bicycle. Despite heat, wind, rain and exhaust fumes. What keeps them going? We meet the modern Pilgrim."

    ARUKIHENRO: Walking Pilgrims in Shikoku, Japan. Devout hikers or adventurers on a quest for themselves?
Tommi Mendel spent 9 months on the henro trail interviewing walking henro and has produced this ethnographic documentary film about the pilgrimage. The film has ben screened at several international ethnographic film festivals around the world. It highlights the reasons and motivations of today's walking pilgrims, as well as their quest for personal change along the 88 Temples' Pilgrimage.
Available for purchase at his web site. Tiger Toda Productions.

    88 — pilgrimage in japanese
Gerald Koll put together this film documenting his trip aroung the henro trail in 2008. I'll let him describe how it came about:
"I am not a spiritual person. I don't believe in metaphysical things very much. Neither on the Spanish Camino nor in the Japanese pilgrimage. But I am interested in this kind of culture and the people. So I have a distance. A distance to myself too. Many documentaries present the nice parts of pilgrimages. Many documentaries present the beautiful sights of Japan. There are enough of this kind of movies. I was annoyed by the typical drama in three steps of "expectation," "suffering," and "happy ending." In 88 — pilgrimage in japanese I tried to find a different way: I tried to be honest; honest with my feelings and with myself in the double-role as a pilgrim and as medium. I wanted to be penetrated by the culture and the spirits. I wanted to be helpless. I wanted to be alone to cross the boundaries to the Japanese people, the pilgrims, the state of mind of a pilgrim. So I decided to do this pilgrimage on my own. Without anybody, without cameraman, assistant or whatever. It was worth it. I wanted to sink in foreigness. And I did."
Available for purchace at Gerald's web site.