immortal wishes:
labor and transcendence
on a Japanese sacred mountain

Ellen Schattschneider

Duke University Press (2003)

Teaching Resources

Akakura Mountain Shrine Rituals


Kuyo (the memorialization of dead relations) is among the most important obligations felt by worshippers at Akakura Mountain Shrine. Many ascetics explain that they have undertaken ascetic discipline (shugyo) in order to memorialize a particular dead relative. Persons performing shugyo pray to their ancestors each day in the Reido ancestral memorialization room and offer water to the dead. Each October, worshippers gather to perform the collective Ancestor Memorialization (Senzo Kuyo) rite.

At Akakura, kuyo is especially directed towards the figure of Kannonsama bodhisattva. Elsewhere in Tsugaru, kuyo practices are also oriented towards the bodhisattva Jizo.

Honoring ancestors at the October memorial rite (Senzo Kuyo).







Website developed by Ellen Schattschneider (Brandeis University)