THE SHIKOKU PILGRIMAGE 四国遍路

The pligrimage known as Shikoku Henro or O-Shikoku-san is the oldest and most famous in Japan. Circumambulating the island via the 88 Buddhist temples designated as the Sacred Places of Shikoku is meant to follow the trail Kobo Daishi (Kukai) walked in his youth for ascetic practice, searching for the Truth.

「四国遍路」または「お四国さん」とよばれる巡礼は、わが国でもっとも古く、もっともよく知られている巡礼である。四国島内に点在する八十八の寺々を巡拝するものだが、これは弘法大師空海が若き日に真理を求め、修行のために歩いた道をたどることにほかならない。
That is why the authentic pligrims go on foot as the great saint did long ago. It takes about 60 days to hike the 1,647 km, going deep into rugged mountains, pludding along sandy beaches, rocky coasts, through fields and hills, villages and towns. Indeed, it is a walking Zen.

したがって、今日でも本格的に巡拝しようとする者は、野山を踏みわけ、1,647・の道のりを約60日かけて歩きとおす。

The Shikoku Pilgrimage is nonsectarian, thrugh Kukai was the founder of the Shingon sect of Japanese Buddhism. Pilgrims seem to forget their Buddhist sects in worshiping Kobo Daishi who stands far beyond factionalism. Not all of the 88 temples are of the Shingon sect, either. It is impossible to discuss this pilgrimage without recounting the life of Kukai.

四国遍路に宗教はない。弘法大師その人が真言宗の創始者でありながら、宗派を超越した人物であったから、大師を慕って遍路にでる人もおおむね宗派にとらわれないようである。八十八か寺そのものにしても、かならずしも全部が真言宗というわけでもない。いずれにしても、空海の生涯を抜きにして四国遍路を語ることはできない。

The Life of Kukai 空海の生涯

Mao (Kukai) was born in 774 in what is now Zentsuji City, the seat of Zentsu-ji temple the 75 th sacred Plase of Shikoku, as the third son of Saeki Yoshimichi, the Lord of the County. The boy Kukai was so bright and gifted that his parents expected him to go into government service, the most respected profession at the time. When he was 15, he studied with his maternal uncle, a great Confucianist and tutor to one of the Emperor's sons.

空海(幼名:真魚)は、874年、今の香川県善通寺市に佐伯氏の三男として生まれる。父の善通卿は郡司であった。おさないころから聡明で、数々の才能にも恵まれていたので、すなわち「官吏としての栄達」を目ざして京の都にのぼる。

At 18, he entered the university and studied hard. But soon he was disappointed with the curriculum offered there -- the principles of government, history, poetry, filial piety and loyalty. What he has been searching for was the ultimate truth.

親王の侍講でもあった叔父のもとで勉学あおつづけ、18歳で大学に入る。ところが、いくら励んでみても、そこで学ぶ政治・歴史・詩・考経・論語等はなにかに空しい。というのも、かれはいつしか「究極の真理」を求めるようになっていたからである。

Then he happened to meet a Buddhist monk, who taught him to practice a meditation called Kokuzo-gumonjiho --to invoke Kokuzo, a deity of space whose wisdom is as vast as space, through mantra-reciting one million times according to the proper method -- which was to enable his to acquire a phenomenal memory of teachings and principles. This made him choose Buddhism and the priesthood rather than Confucianism and bureaucracy. He left the university. It was a very hard on the tradition and expectations of his own clan. Yet he had to.

ちょうどそのころ、一修行僧から「虚空蔵菩薩の真言を百日にわたって百万遍唱えれば、あらゆる教法の文義を暗記できる」という虚空蔵求問持法を教わる。それを機に回心し、大学を去る。一族の期待にそむくのはつらかったが、やむにやまれぬ選択であった。

For many years he applied himself alternately to the intense study of Buddhist texts and to meditation deep in the mountains. At 19, in a cave at Cape Murota, the southeastern tip of Shikoku Island, he finally succeeded in attaining enlightenment through performing Kokuzo-gumonjiho. What he had been seeing all the while was the sky and the sea -- the Pacific Ocean. In memory of this great moment, he desided to call himself Kukai -- Sky and Sea.

それからは、あちこちの寺をたずねては、経蔵にこもり、万巻の経を読みふける。でなければ、深山にわけ入って、修行にあけ暮れる。修行の山を求めて諸国をめぐったのもこのころであった。19歳のとき、今の高知県室戸岬にある洞窟で求問持法を修行していたとき、ついに悟りをひらく。その間、かれが目にしていたものは、海と空だけであった。これを記念し、以後「空海」と名のる。

At 24, he finished Sango Shiiki, a drama in which he compared the three principles he had already mastered -- Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism -- to demonstrate the supremacy of Buddhism. It was his final declaration of turning to Buddhism.

24歳のとき、戯曲『三教指帰』を完成する。すでにきわめつくしていた儒教・仏教・道教の三教を比較して、仏教が最強であることを検証し、仏教に入ることを宣言したものであった。

Yet Kukai was not satisfied with the Buddhism of those days in Japan. He was searching for something like the unity of the Buddha's teachings Then he found the sutra that presented the Buddha Mahavairocana as idealizing the truth of the universe. But there were passages so mysterious that no one in Japan could tell him anything about them. So he decided to go China. At 31 he succeeded in accompanying the envoy to T'ang China.

だが、空海は当時の日本の仏教に満足していたわけではなかった。かれは、釈迦の教えを体系化し、統一するものを求めていた。そのうちに、密教的宇宙の最高の真理とされる大日如来を知り、『大日経』をも見つける。それを読んでもみるが、真言の秘文についてはわからない。だれにきいてみてもわからない。空海は入唐を決意する。ついに遣唐使の随員として海をわたったのは、31歳のときであった。

At the Chinese Capital, Ch' ang-an, the greatest cosmopolitan city at that time, he met Abbot Hui-kuo, the 7th patriarch of Esoteric Buddhism, who had already had no less than one throusand disciples. The moment he set eyes on the young man from Japan, the abbot knew he was the very person he had long been waiting for as his successor. All those years of hard study and ascetic practices had brought him so close to his Chinese mastar that, after three months of study under the abbot, Kukai was ordained as the 8th patriarch of Esoteric Buddhism.

唐の都西安は、当時、世界第一の文明をほこる大都市であった。そこで空海は密教の最高権威である恵果に会う。恵果にはすでに1,000人の弟子がいたが、この東方からきた若者を一目見るなり、「まえより汝の来るのを待つや久し」といって喜び、自分のもつすべての法を伝授しようとする。それまでの勉強と修行のおかげで、3か月ほどですべての伝法を授かり、恵果の後継者として、密教の第八祖に指名される。

At the end of the year (805) , Abbot Hui-kuo passed away. Before his dealth, he had told Kukai to return to Japan as soon as possible to spread the teachings to increase the happiness of the people there. But how could he return soon? There were 18 years before another Japanese mission was to come to China.

同年、(805年)、恵果が没する。その遺言は「早く郷国に帰り、教えを天下に流布し、蒼生の福を増せ。」というものであった。ところが、つぎの検唐船がくるまでには、まだ18年もある。
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Then the Emperor of the T' ang Dynasty died and a Japanese delegation came to Ch' ang-an to attend his funeral. Kukai was allowed to join their return journey. It was fortunate for the Japanese to have him back so soon, considering his great achievements in the ensuing years. In fact it was not until 34 years later that another envoy seat to China returned to Japan. Three years earlier Kukai had passed away.

おりしも、唐の皇帝が没し、その葬儀のために日本国から使者がくる。空海はその帰りの船に便乗を願い出て、許される。実際、次の遣唐使が来、それが日本へ帰ったのは、それから34年も後のことであった。すでに空海が没して3年がたったころのことである。とすれば、この時点で空海が帰国できたというのは、日本にとって、きわめて意義深いことであった。

After 16 months in Ch' ang-sn, Kukai brought home from China 247 scrolls of precious sutras, 44 scrolls of Sanskrit mantras and stotras, 170 scrolls of scriptural commentraries, 9 kings of ritual implements, and a number of religious images and objects. There must have also been some Chinese works of literature, language, medicine, colligraphy and art. It is generally believed that Kukai introduced measures and rules, Chinese-type medicines, of making Indian ink and writing brushes, and of building Chinese temples, bridges and embankments. He and process it, to use coal and petrol, and to make Chinese cakes and candies.

空海の西安滞在はわずか1年と4か月であったが、「むなしく行き、満ちて帰った」といわれている。目録によれば、新訳の経典247巻、サンスクリットの真言賛44巻、注釈書170巻、仏像、曼荼羅、仏具などがある。ほかにも、文学・語学・医学・書画に関する書物、漢方薬、種子類、さらには、染色・製墨・製筆・製茶・製菓・寺院建設・架橋・土木工事の技術などを持ち帰ったといわれ、それをいずれもこの国土にしっかりと根づかせる。

He brought all these things to firmly take root in the soil of Japan,greatly raising her religious and cultural standard, until at last she began to produce her own Buddhism and her own culture. This accounts for why Kukai is often credited as a father of Japanese culture.

これを機に、仏教をはじめ、文化一般が格段の進歩をとげ、わが国にもようやく独自の仏教、独自の文化が育ちはじめる。空海が「日本文化の父」といわれるのはそのためである。

In fact, the first things he did when he came back to Japan was to reread all those enormous volumes of sutras, trying to unite the two kinds of esoteric Buddhism ミKongokai (the spiritual principle) and Taizokai (the physical principle) - into one. Thus he finally created a new esoteric Buddhism which he called the Esoteric Buddhism which he called the Esoteric Buddhism of Shingon.

事実、帰国した空海がまっさきに手がけたことは、持ちかえった膨大な経典を再読し、r両部の密教(精神の原理をとく金剛界と物質の原理をとく胎蔵界)を一つの体系に組立てることであった。こうして、かれはインドにもなかった新しい密教をつくりあげる。これが真言密教である。

Kukai was also fortunate enough to have the Emperor Saga, a scholar, poet and admirer of advanced culture from the Continent, as his patron and longtime friend. He was grndted possession of Mt. Koya in Kii (Wakayama Pref.) , where he founded a monastic center for students of meditation. It was also his spiritual home, where he wrote mary books of immense value, one of which was Jujushinron in which he examined all the philosophies and religion known at that time in the Eastern world, comparing them with his own Esoteric Buddhism of Shingon.

幸いにも、嵯峨天皇は、その教養と嗜好にみあう相手を西安がえりの空海のなかに見出し、みずから後援者ともなれば、終生の友ともなる。空海は修禅の道場として高野山をたまわる。ここでは数々の重要な著作もなされる。その一つ『十住心論』は、当時東洋において知られていたいっさいの思想教学の優劣深残を判釈したものである。

Later the Emperor presented him with a state temple, Toji in Kyoto, sa his headquarters in propagating his Esoteric Buddhism of Shingon. It focuses on this life, saying that men and women have the seed of Buddhahood within them, and that by following its precepts and practices, anyone can achieve enlightenment in this lifetime.

また、真言密教の道場としては東寺をたまわる。真言密教とは、「人間はだれでも仏になる素質をそなえているから、正しい段階を踏んでさえいけば、この生あるうちに成仏できる」と説く教えでもあった。

Then Kukai founded the first school in Japan open to the poor as well as to the rich. A dictionary in 30 volumes which he compiled for the pupils there was the first of its kind in Japan.

やがて、日本で初めて庶民のための学校を開く。生徒たちのために日本ではじめての辞書三十巻を著したのもそのころである。

It is widely believed that Kobo Daishi invented hiragana ( the Japanese phonetic syllabary ) and created katakana ( another syllabary ) throught his knewledge of Sanskrit. Until then, reading and writing were restricted to scholars and aristocrats who could spend years learning thousands of Chinese characters. Now kana syllabaries enabled even common people to write their language phonetically. Noblewoman also took up kana, producing fine novels, essays, diaries and poems. It was with kana that Lady Murasaki wrote perhaps the world' s first great novel, The Tale of Genji.

「ひらがな」「カタカナ」を発明したのも空海であったといわれている。一般庶民、子どもにいたるまで文字によって意思の疎通ができるようになったのも「かな」のおかげなら、女性文学が花ひらき、世界でも最古の本格的小説といわれる『源氏物語』をはじめ、数々の小説、随筆、日記、詩などが書かれたのも「かな」のおかげであった。

There are about 3,000 folktales and legends about Kobo Daishi (Kukai) told and retold all over commanded such devotion. Many of the tales are about how he saved people by bringing forth a spring, the crippled ability to walk, and so on. These stories are based on the fact that he never tired of putting the profound ideas of his religion into practice to bring happiness to people.

弘法大師空海に関する民話伝説の類は3,000にのぼると言われている。日本全土でこれほど多く語りつがれている人物もほかには例がない。だいたいが、湧水をもたらし、池や井戸を掘り、あばれ川を治め、温泉を見つけ、病人を治したといった類であるが、これはかれが仏道の実戦にも倦むことがなかったという証拠であろう。

After his passing away in 835, those who believed in his nyujo or entering into a plane of meditation, began to make the rounds of his memorial places in Shikoku. This is considered to be the origin of the Shikoku Pilgrimage. Even today formal priglims will start from Koyasan, and after making the cricuit of 88 temples, will return to Koyasan via Temple No.1, just as the first disciples of Kobo Daishi did long ago.

835年、他界する。やがて、師が禅定に入ったと信じる弟子たちが、四国に渡り、ゆかりの地をめぐりはじめる。これが四国遍路の始まりといわれている。今日でも、本格的に遍路をしようとする者は、この弟子たちにならい、高野山は大師の霊廟から始め、四国にわたり、一番から八十八番まで巡拝したあと、一番を経て、また高野山にもどる。

In 921 the man who called himself Priest Kukai was posthumously canonized as Kobo Daishi. "Daishi" means "Great Saint", a title bestowed by the Imperial Count upon Buddhist priests of the highest virtue. " Kobe " means " to spread widely the Teachings." There are 23 saints who have been conferred the title of Daishi. But as a popular saying goes: "Kobo made off with the title of Daishi." That is, when one speaks of the Daishi there is no question whom one means. Yet in Shikoku people often call this saint of saints "O-Daishi-san" as if he were one of their neighbors, revealing their affectionate love of him and their belief that he is still here.

921年、「弘法大師」の号をたまわる。「大師」とは朝廷から高徳の僧にたまわる号で、史上23人の大師がいる。が、「大師は弘法にとられ」という言葉もあるように、ただ、「大師」といえば、「弘法大師」をさす。ところが、四国では、この大師のなかの大師を「お大師さん」と親しみをこめて呼ぶ人が多い。おそらく「大師いまだおわします」というわけで、あたかも隣人のように身近に感じているからであろう。

How to Make the Shikoku Pilgrimage 巡礼の仕方

Usually the pligrimage is made clockwise. But some people deliberately make a counterclockwise cricuit as Emon Saburo did until he finally succeeded in maating the Daishi The number 88 represen ts the number of evil passions identified by Buddsist doctrine, and ideally it is believed that one can get rid of all evil passions by visiting each of the 88 temples. In that sense, visiting even one temple is better than none.

巡礼はふつう右まわりに行われるが、衛門三郎の故事にならい、逆にまわる場合もある。八十八という数は、仏教でいう「人間の罪業」の数で、全国の寺に詣でれば、罪業が全部消滅するということになっている。とすると、たとえ1ヶ寺でも、行かないよりは行ったほうがいいということになる。

Temple No.1 is where pilgrims are given the Buddhist Ten Commandments to follow at least during yhe Pilgremage: Do not kill. Donot steal. Do not commit adultery. Do not tell a lie. Do not use flowery language. Do not speak ill of others. Do not be double - tongued. Do not be covetous. Do not be angry. Do not be perverse.

第一番霊山寺は、少なくとも巡礼中は、十悪を行わない―不殺生(生き物を殺さない)、不ちゅう盗(ぬすみをしない)、不邪淫(不義をしない)、不妄語(うそをつかない)、不綺語(真実にそむいて、かざった言葉をつかわない)、不悪口(わる口をいわない)、不両舌(二枚舌をつかわない)、不険貧(けちったり、むさぼったりしない)、不瞋恚(腹をたてない)、不邪見(よこしまな考えをいだかない)-―という戒めをさずかるところでもある。

Some temples are comperatively accessible. But many of them are located in or atop mountains or in remote villages, as Kukai chose such places for his ascetic practices. Until only about 20 years ago, some temples were really hard to reach, though nowadays newly-built roads and ropeways have made less forbidding.

八十八か寺のなかには、比較的交通の便のよい寺もあるが、大師がたいていは山中や辺鄙の地で修行していたので、つい20年くらい前までは、いわゆる「難所」も少なくはなかった。いまでは、道路やロープーウェイなどもでき、だいぶん楽になった。

The most authentic pilgrims go on foot all the way, spending about two months, because walking is colosent to following in the Daishi's footsteps. Some young people go by bicycle or motorbike. Some family groups drive their cars, while ohters hire a taxi. Still穉thers ride the nearest trains,buses and ropeways to the temple on their own ( 20 days or more are required). Nowadays many people like to join the conducted bus tours ( 12 days :about yen 170,000 including 3 meals a day). Reservations are

それでも本格的な大師の足跡をなぞるように全行程を60日ほどかけて歩きとおす。二輪車で回る若者をいる。自家用車で出る家族づれもあれば、タクシーをつかう者もある。鉄道やバスを利用してまわるなら、20日はみておかなければならない。団体バスの利用者も多いが、これなら12日ほどでまわれる。

Traditionally there are two pligrimage seasons, spring and autumn, with the equinoxes as the climax, when pilbrims are generously presented with o-settai ( free gifts of food and drink ) by local people at the temples. But all yera round visitors are seen at the temples.

遍路の季節は春と秋で、彼岸の中日がピークとなる。この日には、寺々でも地元の人による「お接待」のあるところが多い。昔の修行僧や遍路はこの「お接待」はごく日常的なものであった。

People usually go in sportswear or everyday clothes, in sneakers and sun visors. But not a few wear the formal costumes of Shikoku Pilgrims -- the sedge hat, the wooden staff, the while suit and pouches, all bearing their motto writeen in calligraphy ( dogyo ninin ) meating "Daishi and I , going together " or ( Namu Daishi Henjo Kongo ) meating " I put my faith in Daishi , the Universal Adamantine I11uminator.モ

服装はふだん着のままでよいが、遍路装束で出かける者も少なくない。笠、杖、白衣、袋などには、「南無大師遍照金剛」とか「同行二人」と書く。これは遍路のモットーでもある。

Of all the equipment, the most important is the staff. It is not just for practical use when one hikes along rugged paths in the mountains, but it is a holy symbol of the Daishi himself. So pilgrims always treat it with utmost care and reverense.

持ち物のなかでいちばん大切なのは、杖である。これは実用のためでもあるが、運ぶ一歩一歩を助けてくれるという意味、「大師その人」ということにもなっている。したがって、ていねいにあつかわなければならない。

In former days the same staff became one's grave post if one died on the way, as was often the case in those days when everyone had to walk all the way. That is why the top of the staff is designed like a Buddhist grave post. In fact, the white suit itself was and still is nothing but death garments.

むかしは、途中で行きだおれになる者も少なくなかったが、その場合には、この杖がそのまま墓標ともなった。上部が仏式の墓標のでデザインになっているのもそのためである。白衣も死装束にほかならない。

If the tample has a bell tower, one is expected to strike the bell announcing one's arrival to the temple divinitins and Kobo Daishi. The multi-storied pagodas are derived from Buddha's tombs one should visite at least two halls -- the main hall housing the principal image and the Daishi-do Hall dedicated to the Daishi. One may drop a coin into the grate-covered offering boxes placed in front of the halls. Pilgrims offer their osamefuda paper name card at each hall. White osanefuda are used by those on their first to ninth prigrimage, red for the tenth to nineteenth, silver for the twentieth to twenty-ninth and gold for the thirtieth and more.

本堂と大師へは名刺ともいえる「納め札」をおさめる。巡礼の回数によって、納め札の色は白、赤、銀、金と変わっていく。1-9回は白、10-19回は赤、20-29回は銀、30回以上は金である。

Most pilgrims go to an office called Nokyo-sho in or around the main hall to have the temple's signature inscribed in fine calligraphy and its vermilion seal stamped in their album or scroll or on their which jacket (about 200 yen). In this area there are maps showing how to get to the nearest temples.

Accommodations are adequate in or around the temples (4,000 Yen or so a night with two meals). Of the 88 temples, 46 have their own lodges for pilgrims. For the pilgrimage season, reservetions at least a week in advance are necessary; at often times one is expected to call on the previous day. There are also minshuku, Kokumin Shukusha, Youth Hostels or prilgrims' inns available near almost all the 88 temples.

宿泊施設は寺の内外にあり、1泊2食つきで4,000円程度。88のうち46の寺が宿坊をもつ。シーズン中は1週間に予約が必要。民宿や遍路宿のあるところも多い。

For details on bus tours, call the following : Iyo Tetsudo Inc. : 790 Matsuyama-shi Misato-machi ( 0899 ) 48- 3311
Kotohira Sangu Inc. : 763 kagawa-ken Marugame-shi Nakabu-cho ( 0877 ) 22-2151
Tokushima Bus Inc. : 770 Tokushima-shi Terajima Hon-machi ( 0886 ) 53-7110
Kochi-ken Kotsu Inc. : 780 Kouchi-shi Ikku ( 0888 ) 45-1611

* In former days begging was an important part of the Shikoku Pilgrimage as ascetic practice. Eevn the rich of high rank had to beg from time to time. That tradition did enable even the penniless to make a pilgrimage, living on donations or what is calld o-settai from local people.

* There was a custom of zengon-yado or giving a pilgrim free bed and board. In the evening a child of the house was sent out to the nearest temple to pick up one or two pilgrims to take in that night. All the host expected from them was a piece of osamefuda name card, for he was doing it for Daishi himself.

昔は、「善根宿」というものがあった。夕方になると、子どもが近くの寺へ行き、「お遍路さん」を呼びとめて家へ案内する。家では夕食と一夜の宿、朝食と弁当などを提供するが、「お遍路さん=お大師さん」というわけで、納め札以外はいっさいうけとらなかったという。


From the English-Japanese Shikoku Bilingual Guidebook, by Akiko Takemoto and Steve McCarty. Takamatsu: Biko Books. E-mail the Editor of this Website: Steve McCarty.


Updated on 22 October 2016

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