88 temples · 1200 years · 4 prefectures · 1150 km


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Shikoku Henro Glossary


arukihenro 歩き遍路
Walking pilgrim.
bangai 番外
Temple that is not one of the 88 main temples.
Ban means number and gai means outside. Bangai could mean any of the hundreds of temples and shrines in Shikoku other than the 88 main temples. However, when Bangai is spoken or written about today in connection with the Shikoku Pilgrimage Route, it usually refers to the 20 temples historically associated with the pilgrimage route. The Bangais are not visited by many pilgrims, often due to time constraints.
bekkaku 別格
“More correct” name for the 20 subsidiary temples, in the meaning of exceptional, out of line.
Daishi 大師
“Great teacher,” meant here is Kobō Daishi.
daishidō 大師堂
Hall dedicated to the worship of Kōbō Daishi. In front of this hall, pilgrims pray their sutras.
dōgyō 同行
Fellow pilgrims, companions on the pilgrimage.
dōgyōninin 同行 二人
“Two on the way together”. In the meaning that a pilgrim never walks the Shikoku pilgrimage path alone. He is accompanied by Kūkai.
“dōgyōninin 同行 二人” you will encounter daily on your walk. On signposts and signs, on your pilgrimage gear, and at temples.
dōgyōsan 同行さん
Polite term/address for a fellow pilgrim on the pilgrimage.
gasshō 合掌
Greeting gesture in Japanese Buddhism. The palms are brought together in front of the chest. The fingers are parallel, touching and pointing upward. The gaze is lowered. A bow is made in this posture.
gyaku-uchi 逆打ち
Pilgrimage counterclockwise and visit the temples in descending order. In this direction it is tedious and difficult to find the right paths. The signposting of the paths is very limited.
hakui 白衣
White shirt worn by pilgrims on their journey. With long sleeves (hakui) or sleeveless shirt (oizuru).
henro 遍路
Pilgrim, but is also often used in the sense of “pilgrimage / pilgrimage”. Henro can thus mean both “pilgrim” and “Shikoku pilgrimage”.
hondō 本堂
Main hall in the temple complex. Dedicated to the worship of a Buddhist deity. Pilgrims pray their sutras in front of this hall.
ittkoku-mairi 一国参り
Visit only the temples of one province at a time. Shikoku has a total of four provinces.
jun-uchi 順打ち
Pilgrimage clockwise and visit the temples in ascending order. Especially for a first pilgrimage on Shikoku, this way of pilgrimage is highly recommended. In this direction, the path is well signposted. An attentive pilgrim will thus rarely get lost.
junrei 巡礼
Pilgrimage (in general, not only related to Shikoku).
kechigan 結願
All 88 temples were visited. The order in which the temples were visited is not important. The 88th temple you visit is your “Kechigan Temple”. This can be the temple with the number 88, but also any other temple. Another interpretation is that Kechigan is achieved when all 88 temples have been visited. And the return to the temple where the pilgrimage began has taken place. The “circle” is then closed.
Kōbō Daishi 弘法大師
“The Grand Master Who Propagated the Buddhist Teaching”. Honorary title awarded posthumously to Kūkai by Emperor Daigo.
kugiri-uchi 区切り打ち
Walk the pilgrimage in parts. Every weekend, every annual vacation – walk a part. After a break, pilgrims continue their walk where it ended the last time. For the journey to the starting points and for the return from the end point, public transport is usually used.
niō 仁王
Guardian statues standing left and right at the gate of a Buddhist temple, protecting the temple from evil.
niōmon 仁王門
Gate through which a Buddhist temple complex is entered. The transition from the secular to the spiritual world. Guarded on the left and right by two niō, muscular and often fearsome guardian statues who protect the temple from evil.
nōkyō 納経
Stamp in the pilgrimage book.
nōkyōchō 納経帳
Pilgrimage book, in hardback. For each of the 88 temples, one page is provided in the pilgrimage book. As proof of the temple visit, the page is stamped with three red stamps in the pilgrimage office and caligraphed with the name of the main deity of the respective temple in kanji. For further pilgrimages, the respective page in the pilgrimage book is stamped again, but no longer caligraphed.
nōkyōsho 納経所
Temple Office.
ohenro-san お遍路さん
Polite form of address for a pilgrim.
oizuru 笈摺
White shirt worn by pilgrims on their journey. As a sleeveless shirt (oizuru) or with long sleeves (hakui).
osamefuda 納め札
Votive note of a pilgrim. Visiting card left by a pilgrim at the temple. Also given as a thank you for a support (settai) to locals or fellow pilgrims.
sanmon 三門 oder 山門
Temple gate without the two guardian figures of the niōmon. Denoted by the Japanese character 三門. In the literal meaning “three gates”. Or with the Japanese kanji 山門, also pronounced “sanmon”, the literal meaning in this case being “mountain gate”.
sendatsu 先達
Pilgrimage guide, with experience in pilgrimage on Shikoku.
settai 接待
Support for the pilgrims by the locals. For example, in the form of food, snacks, drinks, small amounts of money or handicrafts they have made themselves. The supporters thereby participate in the pilgrimage of the recipient.
shakyō 写経
Handwritten copy of a Buddhist sutra. Among other things, is also left by pilgrims at the temple.
shikoku byō 四国病
Shikoku disease; Shikoku addiction. Term used in connection with pilgrims who walk the Shikoku Pilgrimage Way several times or people who would like to walk the pilgrimage way again.
Shikoku Hachijūhakkasho Reijōkai
Shikoku Pilgrimage Temple Association.
shikoku hachijūhakkasho 四国八十八箇所
Shikoku’s 88 sacred places; formal name for pilgrimage on Shikoku.
shikoku henro 四国遍路
Shikoku Pilgrimage.
shōrō 鐘楼
Bell tower. The temple visitors ring the bell once after entering the temple. Ringing it when leaving the temple brings bad luck.
shukubō 宿坊
Temple Lodging.
temizuya 手水舎
Fountain in the temple grounds from which temple visitors draw water with a ladle to wash their hands and rinse their mouths. Both are symbolic of external and internal purification.
tōshi-uchi 通し打ち
Walk the whole pilgrimage without stopping. The traditional way.
tsuyadō 通夜堂
Free accommodation in the temple for pilgrims.
zenkonyado 善根宿
Free private accommodation for pilgrims.

Shikoku Travel Glossary


bijinesu hoteru ビジネスホテル
Business hotel. Cheap hotel for business travelers.
buntan ブンタン
Citrus fruit grown on Shikoku. The fruits reach the size of a grapefruit and are harvested in the open field from February to April.
hoteru ホテル
inoshishi いのしし
Wild boar.
konbini コンビニ
Japanese short for convenience store.
mamushi マムシ
Viper (poisonous snake), common on Shikoku.
minshuku 民宿
Small family pension.
moningu setto モーニングセット
Breakfast service; many cafes and coffee shops offer an inexpensive breakfast in the morning (moningu setto). Mostly includes a hot drink (coffee or tea), bread and butter, egg and salad.
onsen 温泉
Thermal bath fed by a natural hot spring. Often indicated on signs and maps as 湯 or ゆ (yu = hot water).
ryokan 旅館
Traditional Japanese accommodation that usually offers more services and comfort than minshuku.
sanuki udon さぬきうどん
Udon are thicker noodles made from wheat flour, salt and water. Sanuki is the former name of what is now Kagawa Prefecture.
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