immortal wishes:
labor and transcendence
on a Japanese sacred mountain

Ellen Schattschneider

Duke University Press (2003)


Akakura Mountain Shrine Rituals

Sword of Fudo (Fudo Ken) Ceremony

This healing ceremony is performed several times per year on the 28th day of the month by a senior "kamisama" spirit medium, in the Godaimyoo (Five Lords) shrine, at the rear of the Akakura Mountain Shrine  complex, dedicated to the fierce deity of fire, Fudo Myoo. During the rite, the medium is believed by many to be possessed by the spirit of Fudo.



The medium treats the author (kneeling) by placing the sword of Fudo on her shoulder. As she does so, she instructs her patient in protective Buddhist prayers.


Website developed by Ellen Schattschneider (Brandeis University)