Although women have an important role in society, they did not have the same status as men in many ancient civilizations. Japanese women have experienced the same kind of discrimination as many women all over the world has experienced through the centuries.
In fact, until today there are still some things that Japanese women are not allowed to do. According to a report from Wall Street Journal, Japanese women cannot become top rated sushi chefs. They are also banned from entering sumo wrestling matches or participating in the sport. One very unusual tradition in Japan where women are strictly banned is entering certain monasteries and temples particularly in the sacred region of Koyasan.
For centuries, Koyasan has been a very sacred Buddhist pilgrimage site which has been visited by millions of Japanese believers. Japan Guide reports that there are long, interconnected trails have been made from different portions of the city to allow pilgrims to enjoy the quiet meditation going up the mountains and into the temple. However, there was a time when Japanese women have been banned from entering the temple and are only allowed within its perimeters to make their offerings.
As such, special trails have been made for women and they have been called the women pilgrim's route through the centuries. Fortunately, CNN reports that the ban has been lifted in 1872. This short, 2.5km trail reflects the status of women throughout Japanese history.
The trail plays such an important role in Japanese history that UNESCO has listed the Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage trails as a world heritage site. There are only seven which have been well preserved, of which a few are women pilgrimage trails. Nowadays, this route originally intended for women has been turned into a tourist spot allowing foreign travelers to travel from the bottom of the mountains to the temple at the peak.
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