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Saigoku-Utsushi-Reijyo in Tokushima Prefecture

Publication Date
  • 西国三十三所
  • 西国巡礼
  • 写し霊場
  • 観音霊場
  • 観音信仰
  • Pilgrimage
  • Pilgrim
  • Tokushima
  • Kannon
  • Saigoku-Junrei
  • Utsushi-Reijyo


Saigoku-Junrei (pilgrimage to the western countries of Japan) is the most famous pilgrimage in Japan. The Saigoku-junrei is composed of 33 Fudasho (temples), pilgrims walk on from the 1st fudasho (Seigantoji Temple) to the 33rd fudasho (Kegonji Temple). It distance is 1,100km, so the pilgrims have to endure severe travels. Saigoku-junrei was hard to achieve for common peoples, so that they made a mimic Saigoku-reijyo near their residence. It is called "Utsushi-Reijyo". There is a lot of Utsushi-reijyo in Japan. But it is difficult to think about the Utsushi-reijyo, because it includes much variance. It is necessary to divide the Utsushi-reijyos into various types. By whom it was set and where it was located on, with this two factors, Utsushi-reijyos can be divided four types. First is "Satoyama type", it was located on a small mountain by villagers, near their residence. Second is "Mura-utsushi type", it was located around village by. them. Third is "Shugou type", it was set in a temple collectively by a bonze. Forth is "Kuni-utsushi type", it was set on wide area by a group of bonzes. There are 73 Utsushi-reijos in Tokushima prefecture. 34 of 73 are the Satoyama type, 31 are the Shugou-type, 4 are the Mura-utsushi type, 2 are the Kuni-utsushi type. In Tokushima prefecture, the Satoyama type and the Shugou type are major, and the Kuni-utsushi type and the Mura-utushi type are scarcely. About the establishment year of Utsushi-reijyos, half of them did not be clear when they were set. Out of another half, 11 were made during Edo period (pre-modern times) and 21 were made after Meiji period (modern times). It is usually to assume Utsusi-reijyo to be made in the pre-modern times. Actually, Utsushi-reijyos in Tokushima, the number of Utsushi-reijyos in the modern times is more than its in pre-modern times. It will be necessary to reconsider about the establishment time of Utsushi-reijyo.

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