The Journey

Newly Augmented Complete Map of Mount Koya (Shinzo Koyasan zenzu)

  • 42
  • Ito Ryuzan (Japanese)
  • Japan
  • 1857
  • Color woodblock print
  • H. 21 5/8 x W. 46 1/16 in. (54.9 x 117 cm)
  • C. V. Starr East Asian Library, University of California, Berkeley
  • Mount Koya
Find it on the Interactive Map

Mount Koya, set deep in the forests of Japan's Kii Mountains, had been recognized as a sacred site long before the monk Kukai (774–835) selected it as the setting for the monastic headquarters of the Shingon sect of Japanese Buddhism. Kukai saw Mount Koya as a physical representation of the two mandalas of the Diamond Realm and Womb Realm, which are the basis of Shingon Buddhism. Aristocratic and imperial pilgrims were first drawn to the mountain in the early eleventh century. This map shows Mount Koya as a pilgrimage site. The pilgrim's goal, shown in the map's upper right, is the mausoleum of Kukai, better known by his posthumous title, Kobo Daishi.

PHOTO CREDIT: C. V. Starr East Asian Library, University of California, Berkeley


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