|Outline of Annual Research Achievements
In 2019, I submitted my book manuscript, "A Path into the Mountains: Forging a History of Shugendo, Mt. Togakushi, Sixteenth through Eighteenth Centuries," to University of Hawai’i. Now under external review, it contains 90,000 words and the following chapters: Introduction, 1 Converting the Demon with Nine Heads, 2 Emboldened Narratives, 3 Contested Boundaries, 4 Mountain Asceticism Before Shugendo, 5 A Mountain School on the Move: Hiko Shugendo, 6 From Hiko to Togakushi, 7 Pilgrims, Dragon Worship, and New Kami, 8 Embedding Shugendo into a Regional Landscape, 9 Beckoning Mountain Climbers, Restricting Women, 10 Ancient Lore for a Recent Tradition, and the Epilogue. In addition, I published one peer-reviewed article in Japan Forum (UK), a book review on H-NET (USA), and have a forthcoming article in Hualin International Journal of Buddhist Studies (Canada). I presented material from my book project at the Asian Studies Conference in Japan (Tokyo) and organized a panel on the topic of Shugendo for the European Association of Japanese Studies (postponed to 2021). I had one invited lecture at the University of Oslo (also related to my book) cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. I continued research in the field: Togakushisan (in Nagano), Tateyama (in Ishikawa), Homanzan (in Fukuoka), and Hikosan (in Oita). This research, consisting of interviews with priests and laity, collection of materials, observation of rituals, and photographs, will support my next research project on transformations to mountain religious communities in the modern era.