immortal wishes:
labor and transcendence
on a Japanese sacred mountain

Ellen Schattschneider

Duke University Press (2003)

Teaching Resources

Akakura Mountain Shrine

Sacred Places


Akakura Mountain Gorge

Akakura Mountain Gorge, looms large in the iconography and ritual practice of the shrine. It is characterized by many dramatic volcanic and geological features, and is compared by many worshippers to a woman's genitalia, "the thing of a woman". Through it runs Akakura river, the source of the life-giving water of the gods. The gorge also spatially orients those undertaking mountain asceticism (shugyo).

This photograph of the gorge is displayed within the Reido ancestral veneration hall of the shrine.



Website developed by Ellen Schattschneider (Brandeis University)