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Shugendō Pilgrimage Kimono


This is an incredible Shugendō Pilgrimage Kimono from Mount Omine in Japan. Shugendō is a highly syncretic Buddhist religion and mystical spiritual tradition which originated in pre-Feudal Japan. Translated Shugendō literally means "the path of training and testing" or "the way to spiritual power through discipline".

In Shugendō, enlightenment is equated with attaining oneness with the kami. This perception of experiential awakening is obtained through the understanding of the relationship between humanity and nature, centered on an ascetic, mountain-dwelling practice.

The focus or goal of Shugendō is the development of spiritual experience and power. Having backgrounds in mountain worship, Shugendō incorporated beliefs or philosophies from Old Shinto, as well as folk animism, and further developed as Taoism and esoteric Buddhism arrived in Japan.

Worshipers in Japan and throughout the world are known to self-actualize their spiritual power in experiential form, through challenging and rigorous ritualistic tests of courage and devotion known as shugyō. Pilgramages involving mountain treks are embarked upon and through the experience of each trek, as well as years of study, "rank" is earned within the sect.

This particular pilgrim's kimono is made of hand spun and hand woven cotton which has been dyed a deep gray. It has large siddham dyed on the reverse as well as several cinnabar and ink stamps. The name dyed on the lapel reads Mount Omine, a mountain in Nara, which is famous for its three tests of courage - - The Hanging Stone, The Insight from the West, and the Rock of Equality.

This kimono can be dated to the late 1800s and is in excellent condition considering its age.

Dimensions: 48 x 51"
Late 19th Century

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