Hiking With The Yamabushi Mountain Monks

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Mount Haguro, Shinazawa, Shonai, Yamagata, Japan

Walking piece details

LanguageJapanese

Interactive sonic voyage presented by the Radiophonic Travel Agency, a collaborative project of The BBC’s Radiophonic Workshop featuring original field recordings taken from the Mat Eric Hart Japan Collection supported by The British Library Sound Archive.

The word Yamabushi expresses “one who bows down on the mountain”. They are mountain ascetics with beliefs founded in the ancient Japanese religion of Shugendō – an intensely embodied path of awakening that combines esoteric Buddhist practice, Shinto awareness of the sacredness of nature, Daoist teachings, and outdoor asceticism such as mountain pilgrimage.

This series of intimate recordings was made after being invited to stay with a group of Yamabushi during one of their annual training sessions held at Daishōbō pilgrim lodge, at the foot of the sacred Mt. Haguro in Tsuruoka, Yamagata Prefecture.

Daishōbō is the home of Master Fumihiro Hoshino, a 13th generation Yamabushi priest who has dedicated his life to living as a Yamabushi introducing many people from all over the world to its mystical culture and heritage.

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