Shugendō 修験道;

The Way (Do) of Experiencing Spiritual Power (Gen) through Disciplined Ascetic Practice (Shu) 


Shugendo is a 1500 year-old syncretic religious path of training and testing, combining elements of Esoteric-Buddhism, Mountaineering-Asceticism, Shinto and Taoism, as well as ancient folk beliefs and practices related to mountains. Shugendō is characterised by its periodic rituals of spiritual death & rebirth, pilgrimage, ascetic practices, retreat and meditation.


The following presents short articles by renowned figures across the Shugendo sects. These are not academic speeches but rather the words of experience from seasoned practitioners and will give an introductory overview of what Shugendo is.

The first is by Shokai Koshikidake, Head Priest of Kannon-ji Temple's Koshikidake Shugen Honshu

The second is by Riten Tanaka, ex-Head Priest of Kinpusenji Temple's Yoshino Shugendo

The third is by Gomonshu Miyagi Tainen, Head of Shogo-in Temple's Honzan Shugen-shu

The last piece is by Kokai Shimazu, ex-Sho-Daisendatsu of Kotaku-ji Shozen-in's Haguro Shugendo.


The first two pieces were submitted for the Shugendo Cultural Studies Association magazine (also called Shugendo).
For more articles see the blog: Mandala of the Mountain. Translated by Jisho.



Articles: What is Shugendo?