|Pilgrim Path Preservation Cooperative Association||by Hiroshi Kushima|
(translated by David C. Moreton)
Publication of Guidebooks
These is a guidebook for those who wish to become a Shikoku pilgrim and who want to plan by themselves the route without relying on taxis and bus tours. It is most important for walking pilgrims to carry the book, "Shikoku Henro Hitori Aruki Dogyo Ninin." For ordering the book, look here (Japanese).
The placement of path markers
If one walks the pilgrimage, one will notice and be thankful for the many path markers and stickers along the route. There are about 2,000 along the mountain paths and approximately 5,000 pilgrim stickers in the cities. As well, every year, the work of creating new ones and replacing old ones is carried out.
One might not realize from only walking the present pilgrim path from the city, but members of this society regularly clear paths by cutting bush and grass away making it easier to walk the mountain paths. The scene of such activity was presented on an NHK program [Hirudoki Nihon Retto] in September, 1998.
The Collection of Walking Pilgrims Diaries
In order to pass on the to future generations what it was like in earlier times to be a Shikoku pilgrims as well as for research in ethnic culture, donated records of pilgrims are greatly welcomed. As well, for those who start websites on the pilgrimage, please send a hard copy to this group.
Advice on how to use lodging facilities
Since around 1998, there has been a large increase in the number of walking pilgrims as well during the busy seasons of spring and fall many lodging facilities are full. Thus from January 2000, this society begun promoting the principle of shared rooms.
Official Homepage [Shikoku Henro Michisaki Annai] (Japanese)
The latest information on the pilgrim path and various activities can be seen here.
This organization to assist pilgrims is run almost entirely by Tateki Miyazaki, a resident of Matsuyama, who at age 42 decided to be a Shikoku pilgrim after recovering from a severe illness.
He says, "However, when I started to walk the route, I noticed that the paths were in very bad shape and although I asked people in the area they didn't know the way, so many times I had to take a long way along the national highways. I thought that pilgrims who come to Shikoku would continuously not be able to find their way and thus, I decided to put path markers up in at least my city of Matsuyama." (JTB Canbooks "Shikoku Hachijuhakkasho Meguri")
Over time, the activities grew in scale and nowadays the uniquely designed path markers can be seen in all sorts of places and are clearly helping pilgrims along their way. Under Miyazakifs direction path clearing activities as well as path marker restoration activities are held.
Today, there are few difficulties in doing the pilgrimage and this is due to the efforts of the activities of this association as well as those running lodging facilities throughout Shikoku.
Address 791-8075 Matsuyama, Hibari ga oka 5-15 Name: Henromichi Hozon Kyoryokukai Phone: 089-952-3820
Please try to look up information on the pilgrimage route from books and other related materials. Most necessary information is included in the book Shikoku Henro Hitori Aruki Dogyo Ninin. For those who do not have it, I strongly recommend that you order it and read it carefully.
(translated by David C. Moreton)
|Glossary TOP||Copyright (C)1999-2004 Hiroshi Kushima / (C)2004 David C. Moreton|