Buddhist “Marathon Monk” Finishes Running Ritual

September 20, 2005

Source: The Repository

Wire Service: AP


On September 20, 2005 the Associated Press reported, "A Buddhist priest dubbed the 'marathon monk' has completed an ancient running ritual in the remote Japanese mountains that took seven years and covered a distance equivalent to a trip round the globe. The 44-year-old monk, Genshin Fujinami, returned Thursday from his 24,800-mile spiritual journey in the Hiei mountains, a range of five peaks that rise above the ancient capital of Kyoto. Dressed in his handmade sandals and robe, with a straw raincoat draped over his head, Fujinami was greeted at the end of his journey by a crowd of worshippers, who knelt to receive his blessings... Since 1885, only 46 other so-called 'marathon monks' of the Tendai sect have survived the ritual, which dates to the 8th century and is believed to be a path to enlightenment, according to temple officials. The last monk to complete it returned in 1994."