immortal wishes:
labor and transcendence
on a Japanese sacred mountain

Ellen Schattschneider

Duke University Press (2003)


Teaching Resources

Akakura Mountain Shrine Architecture

The Reido (Ancestral Shrine)

Immediately to the right of the Shiden, stands the the Reido ancestral shrine (topped by a smaller roof than the Shinden). The two shrines shared a wall of sliding doors and may be opened up to one another.

Kuyo (memorialization of the dead), a vital emphasis of ritual action at Akakura, is centered on the Reido. During shugyo (ascetic discipline) ascetics spend at least an hour per day praying in the Reido. Each morning, a special offering tray of food, sake and water is presented to the ancestors in this shrine.

In front of the Reido stand two memorial lanterns and a covered statue of the the community's most revered ancestor, the shrine founder

On the right is visible the covered walkway that links the Shinden and Reido to the living quarters. Visitors may walk under this walkway to reach the rear area of the shrine complex, where the Honden, Dragon shrine, Godaimyoo, 33 Kannonsama and Mieido are located.

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(Reido/Shinden during Festival)

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Website developed by Ellen Schattschneider (Brandeis University)