This is a casual blog that began with the impetus to share aspects of my dissertation research, which I carried out in Japan from 2011-2013. The project encompasses Shugendo (mountain religion in Japan), early modern religious life and thought, pilgrimage, power, politics, and mountain worship. Most of the textual sources I use come from the Togakushi mountains (Nagano prefecture and incidentally, the site of 1998 Winter Olympics) and date from the late thirteenth through mid-nineteenth centuries.

As I’ve kept up the blog, I’ve broadened it to include reflections, reports and photos from various festivals and conferences I’ve checked out as well as unexpected experiences and run-ins I have while over here.

Comments welcome!

7 responses to “About

  • Elinor

    Aw, this was an extremely nice post. Taking a few minutes
    and actual effort to create a good article… but what can I say… I hesitate a lot and don’t seem to get anything done.

  • Esperanza

    Hello there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after browsing through a few of the articles I realized it’s new to me.
    Nonetheless, I’m certainly pleased I found it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back regularly!

  • Gisela Stewart

    Dear Caleb, is there any way of subscribing to your blog and of receiving updates directly into my inbox? This would be brilliant!

    Kind regards

  • Francesca Chiodi Latini

    Dear Caleb, Nice to meet you!
    I’m Francesca, Italian student of contemporary dance at the Conservatory of Antwerp, Belgium. We need to create a short solo performance in collaboration with a musician as task for our Bachelor proof.
    For this purpose, I’ve been researching on the Japanese ritual of Misogi and I found further interest in the Yamabushi monks tradition. I’ve discovered your blog and I’ve already found some very inspiring posts that might help me in my research.
    I would like to ask you if you might have any suggestions for books, essays or multimedia material that would help me in touching deeper the essence of Yamabushi tradition and Shugendo, with a specific focus of the waterfall ritual.

    Thank you very much in advance for your help and time,


    • calebscarter

      Dear Francesca,

      Thanks for the kind message. It sounds like an interesting project you’re working on. I think of any research on misogi at the moment, but here are a few books you might find interesting:
      Schattschneider, Ellen. 2003. Immortal Wishes: Labor and Transcendence on a Japanese Sacred Mountain. Durham, N.C: Duke University Press.
      Averbuch, Irit. 1995. The Gods Come Dancing: A Study of the Japanese Ritual Dance of Yamabushi Kagura. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University


  • Francesca Chiodi Latini

    Thank you incredibly!
    Your help is very precious!


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