Pilgrimage of Eighty-Eight Temples and Whale Graves in the Shikoku Region
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This chapter examines whaling culture in the Shikoku Region (on Shikoku Island). Facing the Pacific Ocean, the Tosa Classical Whaling Base in Muroto, in the southern part of the region, was one of the four major Japanese classical whaling bases. The region is the birthplace of Saint Kūkai (or Kōbō-Daishi, 774–April 835), the founder of Shingon Buddhism, and is home to the circuit of Shikou Pilgrimage of Eighty-Eight Temples. The local whaling culture is a manifestation of local people’s beliefs in Shingon Buddhism.