The Taipei Tianhou-gong and the Shikoku Henro: A Place-based Approach

Leiden Repository

The Taipei Tianhou-gong and the Shikoku Henro: A Place-based Approach

Type: Research master thesis
Title: The Taipei Tianhou-gong and the Shikoku Henro: A Place-based Approach
Author: Prooi, Dennis
Issue Date: 2017-08-31
Keywords: Pilgrimage
Folk religion
Kobo Daishi
Abstract: This thesis makes use of the place-based approach to pilgrimage to investigate the past and present role of the Taipei Tianhou-gong (a temple in the Ximen district of Taipei) as a crossroads of pilgrimage. Past approaches to pilgrimage have either been blind to the particularities of pilgrimage across cultures, or placed too much stress on the contested character of pilgrimage sites. My primary aim is to show how the two discourses that informed the Taipei Tianhou-gong in turn in the past, at present do not compete or exclude one another, but rather appear to run parallel. Before the Taipei Tianhou-gong as it stands today was built, the site was home to the Kobo-ji, a temple constructed during the Japanese period that functioned as the headquarters of Shingon Buddhism in colonial Taiwan. The Kobo-ji eventually served as the starting point of a copy of the Shikoku Henro (a 1,200-kilometer-long Japanese pilgrimage circuit) in Taipei. After the Japanese left Taiwan in 1945, the Kobo-ji was remodeled by the Taiwanese and dedicated to the Fujianese sea goddess Mazu. Today, and with the current popularity of the actual Shikoku Henro among the Taiwanese, we see how the Shingon Buddhist heritage of the Taipei Tianhou-gong is in the process of being reactivated. This reactivation presents us with a significant case of a pilgrimage site where meaning is not contested, but which is instead characterized by a parallelism of discourses.
Supervisor: Veere, Henny van der
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities
Department: Asian Studies (Research master)
Specialisation: Asian Studies (Research)
ECTS Credits: 25

Files in this item

Description Size View
application/pdf Thesis_Dennis_Prooi_Rep.pdf 7.335Mb View/Open

This item appears in the following Collection(s)