Walking the Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Path w Poetry

Koya Bound/ Craig Mod and Dan Rubin

Koya Bound/ Craig Mod and Dan Rubin

Photographers Dan Rubin and Craig Mod spent eight days walking 66 miles of the 1000-year-old pilgrimage paths in Japan’s Kumana Kodo, a UNESCO World Heritage site. While the paths are means of reaching the three sacred shrines along the route, they were designed to be a spiritual experience in themselves, often passing though wild and very challenging mountain terrain. Rubin and Mod launched a Kickstarter to raise money to make a limited edition book of images taken along their journey, to capture “mountain time, and towering cedar time, and crumpled earth time, and ancient teahouse time.

We thought a few of their photographs of a deep forest pilgrimage path would be a fine wait to start the week. (Click on the photos to enlarge them.)

And of course we found poems to accompany them…

Koya Bound / Craig Mod and Dan Rubin

Deep within Saga valley

facing the mountain

companion to birds and fish

this sweet wilderness could be

some old hermit’s dwelling.

No “red dragon’s eggs”

on the tips of the persimmon,

but the leaves provide poetic themes

and are conducive to learning.

        —Bashō

Koya Bound/ Craig Mod and Dan Rubin

Koya Bound/ Craig Mod and Dan Rubin

          I don’t know
which tree it comes from,
         that fragrance.
  —Bashō

Koya Bound/ Craig Mod and Dan Rubin

Koya Bound/ Craig Mod and Dan Rubin

          Not yet become a Buddha,
this ancient pine tree,
          dreaming. 
                                  —Issa

Koya Bound/ Craig Mod and Dan Rubin

Koya Bound/ Craig Mod and Dan Rubin

 

via Spoon & Tomago

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