Nachi Pilgrimage Mandara

The Nachi Pilgrimage Mandara shows a panoramic view of one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Japan. Buddhists believe that this is the Pure Land paradise of Kannon, the Japanese manifestation of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara.

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Following a pilgrim couple dressed in white, we enter the realm from bottom right, where devotees depart in boats for Kannon’s paradise. The journey continues to Nachi Shrine, to the great waterfall, and ends at top left with Mount Myoho. In addition to Buddhist sites, you will find various Shinto shrines, manifestations of local rituals, and vignettes from classic literature.

An interactive map allows you to explore the sacred complex. You may click on the details to look closer, learn more about each site and its religious practices, and see what it looks like today.

The research was conducted by Mengna Da in Nachi, Japan, and Poughkeepsie, NY, USA, for the exhibition Embodying Compassion in Buddhist Art 


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