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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien
Event Series
November 11, 2021

DIJ lecture on the dissemination of contemporary Shugendō

© Josko Kozic

In recent years there has been an increasing interest in Shugendō, a syncretic religion based on mountain worship and ascetic exercises. Various practicing groups across the country are expanding beyond their sanctuaries and gather in social networks, even creating new structures and international groups and practicing outside of Japan. The scope of Shugendō’s discourse and practice has expanded to a larger public, thereby attaching Shugendō to the popular belief in so-called “power spots”. Behind this growing popularity might be an interest in a “world invisible to the eyes” (Roth, 2019), in which worldly conflicts and individual concerns may be solved detached from rationalism. This lecture will explore to what extent Shugendō has been rematerialized and staged in the course of its popularization. Does Shugendō, as some scholars claim, represent an “embodiment of Japanese culture” that is worth spreading? Details and registration here

Josko Kozic, Heidelberg University