This is the story of my 900 mile walking pilgrimage to the 88 Buddhist Temples of Shikoku, Japan. Actually its the story of my second time around the Island of Shikoku at a point in my life where I was lost, looking for direction. By getting lost I ended up finding myself along the back allies and rural temples of one of Japanese most remote areas.
Yes, you read that right, my SECOND time walking the pilgrimage and sleeping outside each night along the road, in bus stops, under bridges, on the beach, in tool sheds and just about anywhere I found myself at the end of the day. This isn’t just a story about the Shikoku Pilgrimage, or learning about myself, it’s also the story of a changing Japan. A country and society caught between the old and the new and the impossible contradictions that define the real Japan that the outside world rarely sees and misinterprets when the skirt is briefly blown up.
Where I’m at: I’m still writing the draft manuscript and looking for an agent. I’m halfway through my story and could use all the encouragement and pressure you can muster to keep going and finish soon.
More about the Book
I’ve had a midlife crisis ever since I got on my first airplane at the age of 21. I hid in Japan for five years until the real world tried to drag me kicking and screaming back home. Pressured by the demands of society to be normal, picket fence, good job, wife by 30 and personal debt to anchor it all in place, I did the only responsible thing I could, I escaped back to rural Japan.
I returned to Shikoku to walk the 900 mile Buddhist pilgrimage, the only place I ever experienced true peace, and had my pubic hairs stolen by a bar full of men. At the age of 28 I was determined to answer the classic question, “What do I want to be when I grow up?” The journey broke me both physically and spiritually until I was forced to reevaluate my life and finally accept my true nature as well as that of Japan: that enlightenment can be found at bottom of the bottle as well as the top of the mountain.
Along the way I examine the extremes of Japanese society as I walk through a landscape impregnated by the spiritual and sexual oddities hidden behind a conservative facade. I am joined by a star studded Japanese cast never before assembled in one place, a group of naked Yakuza trying to shake me down, a wandering ascetic searching for enlightenment while hiding from the Freemasons, a Buddhist Monk who hates America, pubic hair zealots…and many more. Yes, there were some normal people too, but not many!
Give me More
You can read all about one crazy experience that will appear in the book: The Hermit in Seclusion
Or you can explore my other writings on the Shikoku Pilgrimage
How you Can Help!
Finding an Agent and getting published, especially in our weakened economy, is probably harder than actually finishing the manuscript. If you want to help here are four simple things you can do:
1) Please leave a comment below if you think you would buy my incredible tale of modern day adventure
2) Connect with me on Todd’s Wanderings Facebook Page to keep up-to-date on my blog and book project, or subscribe to Todd’s Wanderings RSS feed. The higher the numbers the more street cred I have with Agents and Publishers…if they were petty gang members or high school cool kids.
3) Send Todd’s Wanderings to a friend. Its free and I like to think they would enjoy my rambling, do good lifestyle and stories.
4) Sign me if you are an Agent. There is nothing simpler than that!