immortal wishes:
labor and transcendence
on a Japanese sacred mountain

Ellen Schattschneider

Duke University Press (2003)

Teaching Resources

Akakura Mountain Shrine Architecture

The Bridge

The bridge is an important symbolic divider between the shrine environs and the world of the larger mountain. Each morning, worshippers undertaking shugyo (ascetic discipline cross this small bridge over the Akakura river to begin their climb up the mountain. (see Immortal Wishes, p. 154) They pause before crossing the bridge and explain their intended route to the mountain divinities.

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