A daily record of a ten-week walk through Japan
(more about my Aki Meguri)

Your Help is Requested

[This page is the flip side of the "Mission" page, where I ask my friends for support in return for my prayers.]

Begging MonkWhen you approach the gods in Japan, whether the kami at a Shinto shrine or the Buddha at a temple, there is a series of actions that you usually follow to get the gods' attention. At a shrine, you clap your hands in front of the coin box. At a temple, you ring a bell over the coin box. But in both cases, before making noise, you throw a coin into the coin box. If you want the gods to hear you, pay in advance.

I will take your requests and thanksgivings to the gods whether you are able to help me or not. But the Bible says, "As you sew, so shall you reap." In more contemporary terms, "What goes around comes around." If you really want what you're asking for, or if you're really thankful, you will share not only in the benefits of my journey, but in its hardships as well.

That is, you'll give me money.

They say that the Lord helps those who help themselves. Well, maybe the Lord helps those who help me!

There are other ways to support me, of course, and many already have: helping me with translation, helping me promote my site, etc. Another way to help is to pray for me as I pray for you.

When the Edo-period Japanese appointed a lobbyist to the gods, they also paid his way, and did his work and cared for his family while he was on the road. I have no work or family to tend to, but I will have expenses. I will be unemployed and homeless for three months. Walking is free, but eating is not. There will be some lodging expenses (though I'll often sleep outside). And putting up my homepage daily will involve Internet and telephony expenses. Just camera batteries alone will soon add up!

How much should you give? Anything would be appreciated (and as I said even no contribution is perfectly acceptable). But as a guideline, I have set up three "circles" where your name can be listed (unless you specify that you wish to be anonymous). The three circles are:
  • The Kannon Circle: 3300 yen or $33.00 (US) or more, representing the 33 manifestations of Kannon, the god/goddess of mercy
  • The Tokaido Circle: 5300 yen or $53.00 (US) or more, representing the 53 post stations of the Tokaido
  • The Kobo Daishi Circle: 8800 yen or $88.00 (US) or more, representing the 88 temples of the Shikoku pilgrimage
Please tell me the amount you wish to contribute, and I will send you information on how to make a deposit to my bank account.

Business owners may also want to consider official sponsorship of my walk.

Check out my list of donors.

[Note: Due to the generosity of several amazing people, as you can see on the Donors page, I had to create another level, the "Aki Meguri Circle," for people who donated 17,400 yen or $174.00 (US) or more--the total of the other three circles combined!]

[In addition to this posting on the internet, I also sent out letters to my friends. You can download the MSWord documents in English or Japanese. I made an error, though: I sent it from my new (at the time) e-mail address, to large numbers. Many of my friends, especially in the U.S., failed to recognize it as anything except "junk mail," and so discarded it. They didn't know what I had done until much later! Much of the content in the letters duplicates materials found in "A Mission to the Gods" and on this page.]

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