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The Way of the 88 Temples


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About the Author

Robert C. Sibley is an award-winning Senior Writer at the Ottawa Citizen, an Adjunct Professor in political science at Carleton University, Canada, and the author of The Way of the Stars: Journeys on the Camino de Santiago (Virginia).


Sibley's acute psychological observations are interwoven not only with vivid details but historical and cultural contexts of the ancient Shikoku pilgrimage. Throughout his journey, Sibley asks himself--and the travelers he meets--why walking the path is important. While he finds no one answer, this accomplished narrative demonstrates that the impulse to seek inner change through a physical journey, if mysterious, is enduring.

--Publishers Weekly

In this wise and compassionate book, Sibley vividly captures life on the Buddhist pilgrim's road of Shikoku, Japan. As we walk beside him through these pages, we hear of the origins of the sacred route, its history, and its rituals. More important, though, Sibley's trials and triumphs, his sorrows and joys, with those of his fellow travelers met on the journey, teach us volumes about how to care for ourselves and others as we sojourn through life.

--Hank Glassman, Haverford College, author of The Face of Jizo Image and Cult in Medieval Japanese Buddhism

Sibley shows vividly how this extraordinary pilgrimage can grip even the most agnostic participant. The book says a lot about how deep-binding friendships can be made on the road, and how important the sense of karma can be for those who have walked--and suffered--together. It also shows how pilgrimages are never over, but are often just the start of something else.

--Ian Reader, Lancaster University, author of Making Pilgrimages: Meaning and Practice in Shikoku

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