- 3 hours
Philosopher’s Path Tour
Pure Land Buddhism and Nature
Marcin is a scholar and a part-time lecturer at Kyoto University. He specializes in Japanese folklore, History of Kyoto, History of Japanese culture and Japanese religions. The big theme of his research is "How did Japan create the traditional image it is know for?". Marcin is currently in the middle of a very slow and painful process of writing his Ph.D. thesis at Kyoto University, where he also got his Master's degree. His future Ph.D. is focusing on the traditional depictions of Japanese otherworld and usage of these traditional motifs in present-day Japanese culture and Kyoto tourism. Marcin also has a Master's degree in Japanese studies from Warsaw University, Poland. In Poland he published a book "Kaidan - Strange Tales of Edo period" (2011) in which he introduces Japanese ghosts, demons and goblins in 17th- &18th-century Japan. He also co-wrote "The Culture of Heian Imperial Court" (2008) about Japanese culture in the 9th and 10th Centuries. Marcin has a wide knowledge of Japan, starting from its history, folklore and religion, through its politics and post-war society, but also has an interest in its more recent pop culture and media. In his spare time, he enjoys walking through Kyoto’s streets, rediscovering its secrets and searching for delicious local treats. He also enjoys riding his Kawasaki motorcycle, seeking more remote and hidden places. Marcin has lived in Kyoto for 14 years and is working for Context since 2016.
Marc enjoys sharing the understanding and the knowledge he gained over more than two decades regarding traditional Japanese culture, Kyoto’s historical patrimony and Japanese society. After earning a Ph.D. in Biology and an M.A. in Psychology in France, he originally came here to carry out postdoctoral research. Passionate about the history and culture of Japan since childhood, he decided to stay in order to learn first-hand its traditional culture and to experience its way of life. He studied several crafts including pottery, as well as several traditional arts. After many years of study, Marc was granted a Second-degree Tea Ceremony Instructor Certificate and obtained a Third Dan in Iaido. Before settling in Kyoto with his family, he lived all around the country, in the countryside as well as in large cities, for more than a decade; a rich experience providing him with a wide knowledge of Japan. Currently, Marc instructs local Japanese guides and teaches foreign languages at university. During his free time, he enjoys hiking, climbing, and kayaking, while exploring Japan’s wilderness.
Elizabeth has lived in Kyoto for more than thirty-five years. She is a professor of Japanese religions and Buddhism. In particular, she has studied Japanese graveyards, the Fushimi Inari fox shrine, and Buddhist doctrine. She loves yoga, cats, walking, and visiting Europe. Elizabeth is from San Rafael, California. Before life took her to Japan, she spent two years in Beijing (as a graduate student at Beijing University), a year in Taiwan (studying Chinese), and a year in Dharamsala, India (studying Buddhism). She has an M.A. in Religious Studies from Stanford University and a B.A. in Anthropology from Princeton University.
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