immortal wishes:
labor and transcendence
on a Japanese sacred mountain

Ellen Schattschneider

Duke University Press (2003)

Teaching Resources


Click on the thumbnails for larger images.

Akakura mountain is the name given to the north-east face of Mt. Iwaki, a quiescent volcanic cone that dominates the southern Tsgaru plain.  The better known Iwaki mountain has three peaks; Iwaki san shrine is located at its base, below a relatively smooth slope. Akakura mountain, in turn, also has three peaks, but is noted for its rough, volcanic surface and is dominated by a great gorge. Worshippers undertake ascetic discipline (shugyo) upon this complex, dangerous mountainscape.

For an overview of the mountain, see Immortal Wishes, pp. 32-36

Akakura Mountain, with gorge in center


Website developed by Ellen Schattschneider (Brandeis University)