Group of 100 Devotees of Koyasan and Kumano


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Asato Izumi


Asato Izumi was born in Tokyo in 1956. After graduating from the Keio University Faculty of Business and Commerce, he joined Tokyo News Service, Ltd. He worked as an editor of the Shukan TV Guide and Video Collection before becoming a freelance writer. In addition to presenting essays on such varied topics as Tokyo and Showa, subcultures, city exploration on foot and bus travel, he makes appearances on television as a commentator and moderator, among other roles. His keen interest in weather forecasting led him to study for and obtain qualifications as a weather forecaster. He is the author of several books, including 1964 Mae no Tokyo Orinpikku no Koro wo Kaiso Shite-mita (Reminiscing on the Spirit of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics), Tokyo-to 23-ku Sanpo (Walking the 23 Wards of Tokyo) and the novel Kanreki Shea Hausu (60th Birthday Share House).

 I visited Koyasan once, arriving on the Wakayama Line from Wakayama City. I got off at Koyaguchi and walked along the leftover road of some old inn up to Kudoyama, where I toured the Sanada Hermitage and other sites before riding the Nankai-Koya Line up the mountain. I can still clearly see that first image of the temple complex on Koyasan that greeted me when I got onto the bus. In terms of scale, it was on par with a city, and yet each and every temple in it stood out in some interesting way. I was particularly fascinated by the deep silence of the Okuno-in (the site of Saint Kobo Daishi’s mausoleum) and the site of a cemetery filled with rows of tombstones of famous historical figures from Kansai.
 Since then I have been back to Kumano to see the mountain shrine fire festival in Shingu, but I have not yet traveled the Kumano Kodo nor been out to Kumano Hongu Taisha Grand Shrine. But I certainly will if the opportunity ever presents itself.

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