‘Ma’ — The Space Between: Modern Day pilgrims on the Ancient Shikoku Pilgrimage 

‘Ma’ — The Space Between: Modern Day pilgrims on the Ancient Shikoku Pilgrimage 

Picture of Mary Adams

Mary Adams

Co-founder of 3rd Space
Picture of Mary Adams

Mary Adams

Co-founder of 3rd Space

‘Ma’ — The Space Between: Modern Day pilgrims on the Ancient Shikoku Pilgrimage 

Erminia Colucci is a Professor in Visual Psychology and Cultural & Global Mental Health at the Department of Psychology at Middlesex University London (UK). She is a leading expert in the field globally. As an activist academic, educator, and qualitative and arts-based visual researcher/ filmmaker, Colucci has a busy international schedule. Erminia came to Japan with a CSEAS Kyoto University fellowship with an interest in exploring the contemporary psycho-social significance of walking pilgrimages, including from a mental health perspective.

Faheem Nusrat is technologist, consultant and solutions architect based in London. He has worked in Africa, North America and Europe and is the founder of deepjourney.com. Faheem has three decades of experience in Eastern-based spiritual practices and is pursuing an interest in filmmaking, while exploring innovative responses to critical global issues. He is the founder of thedeepjourney.com

Together their passion for cross-cultural engagement and spiritual exploration has taken them from the temple caves of Jordan to the magnificent plateaux of Himalayan Ladakhi Buddhist shrines, forest ashrams in India, and pilgrimage routes in Europe.

But the Shikoku pilgrimage of 1400 kilometres, winding through forests and along the pristine coastline of the smallest of Japan’s main islands, with its long history of spiritual travellers, monks, and ascetics, is unique. With 108 temples and mountainous terrain, this pilgrimage is turning out to be the most challenging and perhaps most insightful and spiritually enriching of all for these modern-day pilgrims.

We caught up with Erminia and Faheem on day 55 at the coastal temple of Kaiganji, birthplace of Kobo Daishi, the revered founder of the Shingon school of Buddhism. We wanted to hear what motivates them to take on such a huge endeavour, and what their experience has been so far. This was their first ‘rest’ day since setting out on this remarkable modern-day pilgrimage. 

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Picture of Mary Adams

Mary Adams

Co-founder of 3rd Space
Picture of Mary Adams

Mary Adams

Co-founder of 3rd Space