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The Way of the 88 Temples: Journeys on the Shikoku Pilgrimage Hardcover – September 24, 2013

4.2 out of 5 stars 50 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A veteran of the well-trodden Camino de Santiago (The Way of the Stars) pilgrimage route, Canadian journalist Sibley explores the spirit of religious journey on a two-month trek around Japan's Shikoku island. This traditional route, the "Henro Michi," links 88 temples associated with Kobo Daishi (Kukai), founder of the esoteric Shingon school of Buddhism. Sibley describes the 870-mile walk as often brutally difficult, yet as he encountered stunning Pacific vistas, had his "nokyocho" (book) stamped at each temple, and accepted offerings ("settai") from residents, he found himself slipping into "pilgrim mind." Early in the trek Sibley unexpectedly acquires two walking companions who provide both assistance and complications, prompting some ambivalence on the part of the author, who prizes solitude. Sibley's acute psychological observations are interwoven not only with vivid details but historical and cultural contexts of the ancient Shikoku pilgrimage. Throughout his journey, Sibley asks himself-and the travelers he meets-why walking the path is important. While he finds no one answer, this accomplished narrative demonstrates that the impulse to seek inner change through a physical journey, if mysterious, is enduring.

Review

Sibley shows vividly how this extraordinary pilgrimage can grip even the most agnostic participant. The book says a lot about how deep-binding friendships can be made on the road, and how important the sense of karma can be for those who have walked--and suffered--together. It also shows how pilgrimages are never over, but are often just the start of something else.

(Ian Reader, Lancaster University, author of Making Pilgrimages: Meaning and Practice in Shikoku)

In this wise and compassionate book, Sibley vividly captures life on the Buddhist pilgrim's road of Shikoku, Japan. As we walk beside him through these pages, we hear of the origins of the sacred route, its history, and its rituals. More important, though, Sibley's trials and triumphs, his sorrows and joys, with those of his fellow travelers met on the journey, teach us volumes about how to care for ourselves and others as we sojourn through life.

(Hank Glassman, Haverford College, author of The Face of Jizō: Image and Cult in Medieval Japanese Buddhism)

Sibley's acute psychological observations are interwoven not only with vivid details but historical and cultural contexts of the ancient Shikoku pilgrimage. Throughout his journey, Sibley asks himself―and the travelers he meets―why walking the path is important. While he finds no one answer, this accomplished narrative demonstrates that the impulse to seek inner change through a physical journey, if mysterious, is enduring.

(Publishers Weekly)

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ University of Virginia Press; 1st Ed edition (September 24, 2013)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 208 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0813934729
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0813934723
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 15 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6 x 0.63 x 9 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.2 out of 5 stars 50 ratings

Customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5
50 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on January 24, 2014
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Reviewed in the United States on December 17, 2016
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Reviewed in the United States on February 17, 2015
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Reviewed in the United States on May 30, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on December 10, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on March 12, 2016
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Reviewed in the United States on August 14, 2014
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Reviewed in the United States on September 29, 2020
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Top reviews from other countries

Tom
1.0 out of 5 stars Arrived without a dust cover and damaged!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 13, 2021
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PEDRO P. CARDSO
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 19, 2017
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S. T. Munro
4.0 out of 5 stars A personal story of walking the Shikoku temple trail.
Reviewed in Canada on October 28, 2017
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Strider4
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, compelling account of a Westerner on this arduous pilgrimage.
Reviewed in Canada on January 21, 2014
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Cliente amazon
4.0 out of 5 stars Muy bueno
Reviewed in Spain on May 14, 2016
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