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Ise Shrine and Its Raucous Past PilgrimagesRichard Medhurst

With the 2016 Group of Seven summit set to be held in Mie Prefecture, US President Barack Obama and other world leaders will join the many travelers over the centuries who have made the trip to Shintō’s most sacred precinct, the Ise Shrine. The Inner Shrine is dedicated to the sun goddess Amaterasu, the legendary ancestor of the Japanese imperial family. It houses the sacred mirror, said to hav…
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The Spiritual Pull of Shikoku’s “Henro” Pilgrimage

The henro pilgrimage route on the island of Shikoku is celebrating its 1,200-year anniversary in 2014. Today people from all over Japan and the rest of the world are walking the circuit of 88 temples that spans the island’s four prefectures. This article looks at the history and charms of the ancient route.
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