Religion Past and Present

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(264 words)

[German Version]

(literally “the path of training and testing”) denotes a rather loosely organized complex of strenuous ascetic practices that emerged in the Middle Ages on the fringes of Japanese esoteric Buddhism (I, 2.d). It includes recognizable elements of a shamanistic culture (Shamanism) that did not survive independently, including the use of animal symbolism and familiarity with the primitive world of plants and animals. En no Gyōja (or En no Ozuno), who probably lived in the second half of the 7th century, is venerated as its founder. The yamabushi were already organized …

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Pye, Michael, “Shugendō”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 21 October 2020 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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