Group of 100 Devotees of Koyasan and Kumano


Member Profiles

Trustee at Nara Prefectural University

Yoko Kimura


Yoko Kimura was born in Wakayama Prefecture. She has conducted research into topics such as pension systems, medical care, and other social security issues as well as national and local government finances at universities and government agencies, and she has worked to facilitate regional revitalization and internationalization through a non-profit corporation.
Recently she is most interested in the Bible. The Bible is said to have influenced Kukai and Shinran. Her Biblical research focuses on “experiencing the depth of things,” and she must grapple with original Hebrew and Greek texts. It is a new field of endeavor for her. Like the Bible itself, there are thousands of years of accumulated research. When facing a world that seeks depth, the analytical frameworks of modern science appear shallow.

Surrounded by a strong sense of spirituality

Koyasan and Kumano are world-class places. They’re so familiar that I didn’t adequately understand their value until I became involved in international work. I think they are remarkable in three ways: for their strong sense of spirituality, for their fine-grained workmanship, and for their status as the terminus of the Silk Road. For example, Nachi Waterfall does not compare favorably to Niagara Falls in terms of the power of its spectacle. However, having cut through the unique natural beauty of Kii’s mountainous landscape enveloped in humid air from the southern seas carried to Japan by the Kuroshio Current, it exudes a strong sense of spirituality and has a bracing effect on those who stand before it.
French visitors love Koyasan. Its strong sense of spirituality and fine-grained workmanship, along with its refined palette of color, resonate with French culture. A Korean friend described the moving experience of seeing a depiction ofa yatagarasu raven, a mythical species that one no longer sees portrayed in South Korea, at Kumano Hongu Shrine. May Koyasan and Kumano become more widely known in the world, along with the optimism and warmth of the people who live there.

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