Joanna Krawczyk, Współczesne oblicze ruchu shugendō


Joanna Krawczyk

The Contemporary Face of Shugendō


The intention of the paper is to depict briefly the history and present-day state of Shugendō – a Japanese religious movement connected strongly to Shinto as well as to Buddhism. As the author intends to explain, Shugendō took its roots during the Nara period and has been present in the Japanese religious and cultural scene ever since. During more than a thousand years of existence, Shugendō shaped a number of famous figures like En no Gyōja or Shōbō and formed within its boundaries two main branches – the Honzan and Tozan branches, which continue to function and preserve traditions to the present day. Despite the persecution that took place during the Meiji Era, the most important rituals and practices of Shugendō are still being carried out, even if in a changed and slightly simplified form. The Yoshino-Kumano pilgrimage may serve as an example – its route through the peaks and cols was not only shortened, but also adjusted to contemporary conditions. Currently, the Shugendō circle keeps a significant number of followers and incessantly retains its own religious facilities and temples all over the country.