The books were fascinating, each page a work of art. This practice of shuin (seal stamps) has existed for hundreds of years as a way for pilgrims to log their religious journey. I had not heard of goshuin chou before arriving in Japan. My original proposal was to document my trip by having the people I met add calligraphy to a book. A collection of shodo done by monks and masters would give me plenty of material to continue my shodo practice and document my own journey.
The next day, Mitsu's mother brought me a brand new goshuin chou with a intricately embroidered cover and my fate was sealed. To fill the book was a sign of devotion and good luck. And thus my journey began.