The Kumano Kodō (熊野古道) is a series of ancient pilgrimage routes that crisscross the Kii Peninsula, the largest peninsula of Japan. These mountainous trails are used by pilgrims to the "Kumano Sanzan" (熊野三山) - the Three Grand Shrines of Kumano: Kumano Hongū Taisha (熊野本宮大社), Kumano Nachi Taisha (熊野那智大社) and Kumano Hayatama Taisha (熊野速玉大社). These three shrines are the holiest sites of the ancient syncretic Kumano religion.

It has been visited by pilgrims seeking healing and salvation as a site of religious significance for over a thousand years. People with backgrounds from peasants to emperors would visit the region while guided by Shugendō monks.

In July 2004, some of the roads of the Kumano Kodō and the shrines of the Kumano Sanzan, along with Koyasan and Yoshino and Ōmine, were registered as World Heritage sites together as the "Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain...Read more

The Kumano Kodō (熊野古道) is a series of ancient pilgrimage routes that crisscross the Kii Peninsula, the largest peninsula of Japan. These mountainous trails are used by pilgrims to the "Kumano Sanzan" (熊野三山) - the Three Grand Shrines of Kumano: Kumano Hongū Taisha (熊野本宮大社), Kumano Nachi Taisha (熊野那智大社) and Kumano Hayatama Taisha (熊野速玉大社). These three shrines are the holiest sites of the ancient syncretic Kumano religion.

It has been visited by pilgrims seeking healing and salvation as a site of religious significance for over a thousand years. People with backgrounds from peasants to emperors would visit the region while guided by Shugendō monks.

In July 2004, some of the roads of the Kumano Kodō and the shrines of the Kumano Sanzan, along with Koyasan and Yoshino and Ōmine, were registered as World Heritage sites together as the "Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range".

The Kumano Kodō has been used for more than 1,000 years for the purpose of Kumano worship, which flourished as the largest sacred site in Japan during the Middle Ages.[注釈 1] In modern times, after its status as Japan's largest sacred site was replaced by that of Ise Shrine, it began to become part of the pilgrimages of the 33 sacred sites of the Kannon in the western part of Japan. Nevertheless, the Kumano Kodō remains as a busy foot pilgrimage in its own right.[注釈 2]

The area around Kumano was a place of nature worship, as mentioned in the Nihon Shoki (Chronicles of Japan). The three Kumano mountains were worshipped by people from all walks of life, from emperors to aristocrats and commoners.

In the Muromachi period (1333-1573), Kumano pilgrimages became popular among samurai and common people and not just aristocrats, and were so frequent and continuous that they were even called a "pilgrimage of ants".

In the Edo period (1603-1867), Kumano pilgrimages, along with Ise pilgrimages, are said to have become widely practiced by the general public. At one time, 800 people were recorded to have stayed overnight in inns near Kumano in a single day.

The number of shrines around the Kumano Kodō was drastically reduced due to the "Shrine Combining Order" issued at the end of 1906 (Meiji 39) as part of the Meiji Restoration. This order saw Buddhist and Shinto shrines separated and Buddhist elements destroyed, while many natural sites which had been preserved by the shrines were also destroyed. Some of these natural sites were protected by the pioneering work of ecologist Minakata Kumagusu who extensively studied and fought for the protection of the ecosystems of the region.

The Kumano Kodō itself continued to be used as a road for daily life until the national highway was constructed from the Taisho era (1912-1926) to the Showa era (1926-1989).

Until recent decades, the custom of Kumano pilgrimages had almost disappeared. Currently, the Wakayama Prefectural Tourism Promotion Division is playing a central role in developing the routes and making it a tourist attraction by organizing stamp rallies and other events.

In September 2011, many people died and infrastructure and geology in the area was heavily damaged by landslides and flooding caused by Tropical Storm Talas (Typhoon #12). As of 2023, there are parts of the routes still to be repaired. However, there have also been substantial investments in new tourist infrastructure such as an art museum in Chikatsuyu and large tourist centres and displays in towns along the route.

Imperial pilgrimages An ancient statue of a young boy riding a cow and a horse at the same time by straddling both at once. The boy is an early emperor on the Kumano pilgrimage. It is set within the forest and is near sacred Buddhist sites. Gyuba-doji, a statue of the young Emperor Kazan on pilgrimage riding a horse and a cow. The emperor named the area Chikatsuyu.

The first imperial visit to the area is said to have been the Kumano Gokou by Emperor Uda in 908 during the mid-Heian period.[1][2][3] The term Kumano Gokou (熊野御幸) refers to the emperor's pilgrimage to Kumano, which took place 94 times over a period of 374 years until the Kumano Gokou of Emperor Kameyama in 1281.

In the 11th and 12th centuries, the retired emperors of the Insei period began to make repeated pilgrimages to Kumano. It is said that the beginning of frequent pilgrimages to the three Kumano mountains began with the retired Emperor Shirakawa's Kumano Gokou in 1090. In total, Emperor Shirakawa made nine visits to Kumano. This led to an upsurge in the number of empresses and other court ladies and nobles accompanying the emperor and the Cloistered Emperor, and later to independent Kumano pilgrimages among the Kyoto nobility.[2] Later, Emperor Go-Shirakawa also made 33 visits to Kumano.

According to the diary of Fujiwara no Teika, who accompanied Emperor Go-Toba on his Kumano pilgrimage in 1201 during the Kamakura period (1185-1333), the journey was made on foot in principle, with luggage carried on horseback, and the roads were maintained accordingly. During this period, the shrine was worshipped by the Minamoto and Taira clans, and was visited by Ippen and Mongaku, priests of the Heian and Kamakura periods. Hojo Masako, wife of Minamoto no Yoritomo, also made two pilgrimages to Kumano on her way to Kyoto from Kamakura. Furthermore, after the Jokyu Disturbance (1221), local samurai also began to make pilgrimages.


Cite error: There are <ref group=注釈> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist|group=注釈}} template (see the help page).

^ Asai, Kenji; 浅井, 建爾 (November 2001). Michi to michi ga wakaru jiten : yomu shiru tanoshimu. Tokyo: Nihon jitsugyo shuppansha. ISBN 4-534-03315-X. OCLC 122921520. ^ a b Takebe, Kenʼichi; 武部健一 (2015). Dōro no Nihon shi : kodai ekiro kara kōsoku dōro e (Shohan ed.). Tōkyō. ISBN 978-4-12-102321-6. OCLC 910498769.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link) ^ Nihon no michi hyakusen. Kokudo kōtsūshō., Nihon no michi hyakusen kenkyūkai, 国土交通省., 「日本の道100選」研究会. Tōkyō: Gyōsei. 2002. ISBN 4-324-06810-0. OCLC 166689843.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
Photographies by:
- Public domain
663highland - CC BY 2.5
663highland - CC BY 2.5
VKaeru - CC BY-SA 3.0
VKaeru - CC BY-SA 3.0
VKaeru - CC BY-SA 3.0
VKaeru - CC BY-SA 3.0
VKaeru - CC BY-SA 3.0
Zones
Statistics: Position
1858
Statistics: Rank
66693

Add new comment

CAPTCHA
Security
912365874Click/tap this sequence: 5598
Esta pregunta es para comprobar si usted es un visitante humano y prevenir envíos de spam automatizado.

Google street view

Videos

Where can you sleep near Kumano Kodō ?

Booking.com
527.634 visits in total, 9.232 Points of interest, 405 Destinations, 223 visits today.