The Shikoku pilgrimage (Shikoku Henro) is a journey along a spectacular route, covering fourteen hundred kilometres through the four prefectures of Shikoku: Tokushima, Kochi, Ehime and Kagawa. The route is associated with 88 temples that have always been intimately linked with Kōbō-Daishi, a Japanese Buddhist priest better known as Kūkai.
The exhibition shows the history and spirituality of the Shikoku Pilgrimage through a collection of historical pieces and images of the pilgrimage as it is today.
Traditionally it was believed that the Shikoku Pilgrimage was originally a form of spiritual training for Buddhist ascetics and monks who travelled across Shikoku, meditating and praying in the sacred places linked to the life of Kōbō-Daishi.
The first guide to the Shikoku Pilgrimage was published in the late 17th century by an Osaka ascetic called Shinnen. This book proves that the pilgrimage along this route as we know it today took its shape earlier.
Other documents on display at the exhibition and providing historical evidence about this pilgrimage are:
Nokyo-cho from the Edo Period (1603-1868), a document proving the pious visit of the pilgrim to each of the temples along the route. The red stamps indicate the number of the temple visited. In Sanskrit we can see the name of that temple and the main Buddhist image venerated. The signature in black ink belongs to a priest from the temple, who certifies the name of the temple and its main image.
Osame-fuda (paper slip) from the Edo Period (1603-1868), a document used by pilgrims as proof that they visited a certain temple. The pilgrims write their requests, address, name and date on this, and the slips are kept in a special box at the temple.
Place: Museum of Pilgrimage and Santiago.
Address: Praza das Praterías, 2. Santiago de Compostela
Date: 21 July to 24 September 2017.
Visiting hours: from Tuesday to Friday from 9.30 am to 8.30 pm, Saturdays from 11.00 am to 7.30 pm and Sundays from 10.15 am to 2.15 pm. Closed Mondays.
Council for the Recognition of the Shikoku Henro Pilgrimage as a World Heritage Site
Tokushima Prefecture, Kochi Prefecture, Ehime Prefecture and Kagawa Prefecture
Co-organised by: NPO Network for Shikoku Henro Pilgrimage and Hospitality
In collaboration with:
“The Shikoku Pilgrimage of the 88 Temples” Association
Organisation for the Promotion of Tourism in Shikoku Henro
Japan Historical Heritage Council
S.A. de Xestión do Plan Xacobeo – Galicia Tourism
Museum of Pilgrimage and Santiago.
With the support of the Japanese Embassy in Spain.