This book could be called the ultimate reason for the creation of this website and for the topic of my dissertation.
I did not pick this book on purpose, in fact, a friend of mine who was writing a report on the topic of pilgrimages took this book out of library. I just saw it lying around and one evening when I was bored, I picked it up and read a few words. That was enough for me to ask my friend if I could have the book when she was done with it. So to explain a bit more about the reason why this book captured my interest so well, let me tell you a bit more about it.
Truth be told, I don’t remember much of the exact content so I might be vague on that part but I know that this is nothing like your usual academic book that methodically presents you with a fact after fact. What I liked about it was that Oliver Statler actually presented this book as a story. Or at least it seemed like that to me. That was one of the factors that made it so easy to read. In the Japanese Pilgrimage, Oliver Statler introduces the Shikoku Pilgrimage. He describes some of the legends about Kobo Daishi, for example the one about Emon Saburo, whilst still providing the reading with valid, historically proven facts.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is even remotely interested in the idea of pilgrimage. It is nicely written and before you realize you’re at the end of it and would like to read it again, just to re-live the stories about the 88 temples.