Professor emeritus at Meiji University and advisor at the International Society for Kumano Studies
Masahiko Hayashi was born in Tokyo.
He has been enchanted by Kumano ever since analyzing a previously undocumented picture scroll known as Amida no Goenki in his graduation thesis, and he has subsequently explained numerous picture scrolls related to Koyasan and Kumano, including Karukaya・Ishidomaru, Dojoji Engi Emaki, and Kumano Kanshin Jikkai Mandara, while conducting research into the Buddhist nuns of Kumano. He has visited various places in Kumano more than 110 times. He also founded the International Society for Kumano Studies. He visits Kumano every year.
Many people have visited Kumano since ancient times out of a need to pray to the verdant mountains, solemn waterfalls, clear-flowing rivers, blue ocean waters, and the Shinto and Buddhist gods who dwell there. They also made pilgrimages to Koyasan, where Kukai died, to express gratitude for the accomplishments of the monk as part of the Shikoku pilgrimage. After I wrote my graduation theses, visiting sacred sites in Kii Mountains became my life’s work.