The Shikoku Pilgrimage is a 1,200 km (750 mi) circuit that connects 88 temples around the island of Shikoku. The pilgrimage is associated with the 8th century monk Kukai, who is considered the father of Shingon Buddhism in Japan. Many pilgrims, both Japanese and foreign, seek to complete this famous route for various personal reasons, including self-reflection, healing, and honoring loved ones.
Jeffrey Dym, a professor of history at Sacramento State University, has completed the pilgrimage four times. Professor Dym will talk about the history of the Shikoku Pilgrimage and its important place within Japan’s history, while Myojoin Temple head priest Enko Sakai will speak more about Buddhism and the “Chair Zazen” technique he developed in order to encourage a strong mind, and to help people find peace and contentment.
Priest Enko Sakai
Priest Enko Sakai was born in 1963 at Aichi, Japan. As an elementary school student, he worked as a paper delivery and milk boy to help support his family who struggled after the divorce of his parents. He tried his hand at office work, but soon decided to enter the priesthood following in the footsteps of his maternal grandfather who was a Buddhist priest. After stints in both the pure Land and Tendai Sects, he took on the hard training of the Myojoin and at the age of 42 became the Myojoin Temple Master. At age 50, Priest Sakai began to learn English, and in 2018 began expanding his Myojoin temple program in the U.S. Chosen as one of 100 next-Era Leaders in Asia 2015-2016 by The Japan Times, Priest Enko Sakai of the Myojoin Temple in Aichi Prefecture, has been teaching Japan and the world his distinct style of mediation and stress management to create fulfilling lives. With unique qualifications, skills, experience and knowledge, Priest Enko Sakai has been helping people find peace and contentment, including in the pressure cooker of Silicon Valley, opening them up to new futures. Many major corporations engage Priest Sakai for workplace stress management programs.
Professor of History, Sacramento State University
Jeffrey Dym has been teaching about Japanese history and culture at Sacramento State University for over 20 years. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Hawaii in 1998. He has published works on Japanese silent cinema and in recent years, has been turning his research on kamishibai (Japanese street theatre) and noh theatre into documentary films.
5.30 – 6:00 PM Registration
6:00 – 7:00 PM Program and Q&A
7:00 – 7:30 PM Networking
Food and drinks are included!