Pilgrimage Stamps

In my Japan sketchbooks, my favorite page contains neither personal notes nor drawings but rather a pilgrimage “stamp” from Kiyomizu-dera, a Buddhist temple and UNESCO World Heritage site in Kyoto. It was and still is customary for pilgrims in Japan to collect these stamps in a book from each Buddhist temple or Shinto shrine visited. While some temples may only give stamps, at others a temple priest will hand-draw the temple’s “signature” in the pilgrim’s book for a small fee, as was done here. Beautiful calligraphy, artfully composed.