Ikigai Bio-Hacking, Shugendo, and Ninja

I climbed Mt. Hando today, which used to be a mecca of Shugendo and Koga Ninja’s training ground.


I came here on the winter solstice with my manuscript.

Since Ikigai Bio-Hacking was influenced by Shugendo, I wanted to report to the mountain that I was going to publish the book.

Now the book is published, I wanted to report it.

While biohacking was born in Silicon Valley, Ikigai Bio-Hacking was born in Satoyama, villages and mountains combined area in the Kink Region Japan. The Kinki region is the heart of a thousand-year-old Japanese spirituality.

When you think of Japanese spirituality, you think of Shintoism and Buddhism. These two religions are certainly two major religions in Japan, and in the countryside, most people are both Shintoists and Buddhists. Every household has a Shinto altar and Buddhist altar, and most communities have a shrine and a temple in the neighborhood. That is especially true in Shiga since Shiga has the largest number of temples in Japan.

Shugendo is not known compared to Shintoism and Buddhism, but in some ways, it is the key to Japanese spirituality since it contributed a lot in bringing these two religions together.

Shugendo also brought the influence from Taoism, too.

I will write about Shugendo more in detail some other time since it will take a long time to talk about it.

I think the Kinki region is the heart of Japanese spirituality or at least was in the past, since we have Ise Shrine, the main Shinto shrine in Japan, and Mt. Omine, Koya-san, and Kumano, three meccas of Shugendo. We also have many Buddhist temples, too, Shiga has the largest number as I said and Kyoto has the second-largest number.

In rural villages in the Kinki Region, we have rituals called Ise-Ko and Gyoja-Ko. In Ise-Ko, someone representing each village visits the Ise Shrine once a year to pray for the village, and in Gyoja-Ko,  someone representing each village visits Mt. Omine once a year to undergo Shugendo training for the village. Shugendo plays an important role in rural communities.

Anyway, Ninjas were very much influenced by Shugendo, and often Ninjas trained with Yamabushis, Shugendo practitioners. Mt. Hando is an example of such a training ground.




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