A Richly Stamped Cotton Pilgrim's Coat: Shikoku Pilgrimage Circuit
mid twentieth century
25 1/2" x 25", 64.75 cm x 63.5 cm
This white cotton sleeveless garment is stamped on front and back with many red colored emblems, each of them belonging to a Buddhist temple on a circuit of 88 on Shikoku Island, the home to a pilgrimage dedicated to Kannon or Avalokiteshvara, a merciful bodhisattva which embodies the compassion of all Buddhas.
The amount of stamps is impressive and this indicates that the pilgrim who owned this garment visited many, if not all, the temples on this pilgrimage route as each temple will imprint the garment with one or more of its seals.
The cotton is nice and gauzy and the vest is hand stitched. The overall condition of the lovely jacket is good; there are no visible stains and only the slightest suggestion of wear due to age.
A marvelous thing to own which is imbued with earnestness of purpose and which has passed through the portals of some very sacred spaces.