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A Portal to Another Place

Written on January 6, 2010

What I mean by “portal” is shaded with several meanings.  First, I’m showing here a richly stamped and decorated pilgrim’s coat from my collection, the main image is that of Kannon: the coat was worn by a pilgrim as he or she made their way to holy sites following a prescribed pilgrimage route.  In so doing, the pilgrim–cloaked in this supernaturally-charged garment–approached the portal to a sacred space, thus transcending the mundane and entering the realm of the sublime.Kannon1

On a more practical level, I am going to provide several links below that will serve as a portal to London’s Victoria & Albert Museum‘s website that discusses Japanese pilgrimage and has borrowed images from my collection to illustrate their entries.  Rather than discuss this coat in detail here, I’ll just provide links, and let you have the fun of poking around the V & A’s site, which is bursting with fascinating content.

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Here is the entry where this coat is shown, the topic discussed is Koyasan, a mountain sacred to the Shingon Sect of Buddhism.

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Discussed here is the famous 88 temple pilgrimage on Shikoku Island–and do follow the links provided by the V & A.  Fascinating stuff.

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And here is a link to the Saikoku Kannon Pilgrimage, a pilgim circuit of 33 Kannon temples in Western Japan.  I encourage you to delve into the      V & A’s website which provides additional information on Buddhism and sacred sites related to the Buddha and his teachings.

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And have a look here and here to see some of the Buddhist textiles and objects I am currently offering for sale on my website.

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