Sacred Journeys with Bruce Feiler: Shikoku
About This Episode
The Island of Shikoku in Japan is the birthplace of the most revered figure in Japanese Buddhism, the monk and teacher Kobo Daishi, who brought a populist form of Buddhism to Japan from China in the 9th Century. For hundreds of years, a 750-mile pilgrimage route has circled this mountainous island, connecting 88 separate temples and shrines that claim connection to the Great Master – Kobo Daishi.
Host Bruce Feiler follows a trail that’s taken by hundreds of thousands every year; a Buddhist pilgrimage that welcomes people of all faiths. Temple priests present sacred ceremonies that date back thousands of years, revealing how the presence of Kobo Daishi is believed to accompany all who follow in his footsteps. Out on the pilgrim trail, Bruce meets with different American walkers to learn why they’ve come to Shikoku and what they are hoping to find.
Sacred Journeys with Bruce Feiler is an unprecedented journey to the world’s most meaningful landscapes and rigorous religious pilgrimages. The series presents a comprehensive picture of the practice of pilgrimage in its varied expressions around the globe, over thousands of years.