BOOKS / 出版物

Pilgrimages in the Secular Age

Pilgrimages in the Secular Age

From El Camino to Anime

Okamoto Ryosuke
Translated by Deborah Iwabuchi and Enda Kazuko

Published Titles / Social Sciences


Published by JPIC | Hardcover | ISBN 978-4-86658-064-7 | 176 pages | 210mm (h) x 148mm (w) | March 2019

About the Book

Religion and tourism seem to be an unlikely pair, but in fact, taking a look at these two human behaviors provides invaluable insight into modern society.

In the past, holy sites were of immense importance to those who followed a particular religion, and these places used to attract many faithful pilgrims. These days, however, people without faith visit holy places simply to experience something out of the ordinary. Furthermore, many places without any connection to religion are being called “sacred” and attracting people’s interest. What really drives people there, and what do people want to gain from the experience?

In this informative book, the author discusses various pilgrimages in order to shed light on new types of religious views and faiths that have come into being in the twenty-first century. The book explores the Santiago pilgrimage in Spain; the eighty-eight temple pilgrimage in Shikoku, Japan; B-grade tourist spots; so-called “power spots”; sacred anime sites; and much more.

Through examining these places and the people who visit them, the reader will experience a shift in perspective and discover that in this secular age, holy places are no longer supported by religions and doctrines alone. The interchanges between a place and its community of people are what make a place holy. People are placing more importance on the shared image and experience expected to be had there.

This is a must-read for researchers investigating the link between tourism and religion and how the two influence each other.

About the Author


Born in Tokyo in 1979, Okamoto Ryosuke is an associate professor of Media and Communication Studies at Hokkaido University. He graduated from the College of Letters at Ritsumeikan University and completed his doctorate at the Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Tsukuba. He specializes in religious studies and the sociology of tourism. His published books in Japanese include Seichi to inori no shukyo shakaigaku [The sociology of religion as seen in holy places and prayer] (2012) which received the Japanese Association for Religious Studies Award for Outstanding Scholarship in 2013, and Edo Tokyo no seichi o aruku [Visiting Tokyo’s sacred sites from the Edo period] (2017). He has also coauthored Seichi junrei tsurizumu [Pilgrimage tourism] (2012), Shukyo to shakai no furontia [The frontiers of religion and society] (2012), and Higashi Ajia kankogaku [Tourism studies in east Asia] (2017).


非日常的な空間である聖地――。観光地として名高い聖地には、信仰心とは無縁の人々が数多く足を運んでいる。さらに近年では、宗教と直接関係のない場も聖地と呼ばれ、関心を集めている。人は何を求めて、そこへ向かうのか?それは、どのような意味を持つのか? サンティアゴ巡礼や四国遍路、B級観光地、パワースポット、アニメの舞台など、多様な事例から21世紀の新たな宗教観や信仰のあり方が見えてくる。







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Original Japanese Version / 原書情報

聖地巡礼 - 世界遺産からアニメの舞台まで

聖地巡礼 - 世界遺産からアニメの舞台まで

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