Group of 100 Devotees of Koyasan and Kumano


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Anna Ogino


Anna Ogino was born in 1956 in Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture.
She is a graduate of Keio University and later became a professor in the university’s Faculty of Letters.
Ogino traveled to Paris-Sorbonne University to study Rabelais. After returning to Japan she began writing on the side while continuing her research, and in 1991 she won the Akutagawa Prize for book Water Burden. She received the 53rd Yomiuri Prize for her 2001 book The Adventures of Henri the Braggart (published by Bungeishunju). In 2008, she received the 19th Ito Sei Literature Prize for her book The Crab, Him and Me (Shueisha). She became a member of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2007. She loves onsen and traveling, and is a well-regarded essayist.

A dream for my 60s.

I have a dream.
I dream of retiring to become an itinerant Buddhist monk. I wonder where I can even get the right attire? And if I did, given how my face resembles that of my Western father, I imagine it would make me look like some sort of tengu goblin.
 I already have a place picked out for my ascetic training. The Omine back Kamichi travel along all sorts of different courses. The one that interests me most is “Nishi no Nozoki (Peek to the West),” which involves being suspended over a precipice. I imagine that being out there, enveloped by the mountains of Kumano, would make me feel reborn.
 I also dream of Koyasan. For that, I’ll need to retire and slip into a classroom in the Department of Esoteric Buddhism at Koyasan University. I want brisk and refreshing air, and I suppose you can find that in a classroom too.
 The more I chew it over, the more I know that my dream location is Wakayama.

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