Making a Space for Hope: Representing the Creative Reinvention of Japanese Mountain Asceticism in the Documentary Shugendō Now


  • Mark Patrick McGuire

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    • I wish to express my gratitude to Pamela Winfield for her encouragement, support, and editorial attentiveness. Her many suggestions and clarifications greatly improved the essay. Barbara Ambros’ invitation to participate in a panel to honor the work of Carmen Blacker stimulated initial reflections on our filmmaking approach. I am grateful to Tanaka Riten, Tateishi Kōshō, Gojō Ryoki, Iwagishi Shinsei, Tateishi Rika, Ozaki Hitoshi, Suzuki Akiko, Miyamoto Kazuhiko, and Fujie Noritoshi for their guidance, generosity, and eloquence during filmmaking in Kumano, Yoshino, Tokyo, and Osaka. In Ibaraki, the Fujita, Kawanishi, and Ozaki families provided sustenance, outstanding company, and a tatami room to begin initial editing. In Montreal, Kory Goldberg, Matthew Penney, François Thibeault, Lynda Clarke, Donald Boisvert, and Rotem Ayalon provided encouragement and practical advice in preparing this essay for publication. Jean-Marc Abela took a chance on a risky film project in a culture and language he knew nothing about; devoted thousands of hours to film, edit, mix and discuss the film; and consistently demonstrated a great deal of creativity, sensitivity, and patience. All translations and photographs are mine unless otherwise indicated.