Saint of Mt. Koya
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"Looking now at my surroundings I felt I had been making a fool of myself with my earlier fears. In the mountains all around I could hear the song of the cicada, a song that was even coming from the dark woods behind where I had imagined such a swamp of mud and blood. The sun was setting and the bottom of the valley was already in darkness.

"I went down the gently sloping road thinking that even if I were to be eaten by wolves, it would at least be a conventional way to die, and so, light hearted as a young and carefree apprentice, I strode briskly along with my walking stick riding jauntily on my shoulder.

"Had I not been troubled by the pain, itching, and tickling of the leeches I would surely have broken into some mad, heathen dance with the sutras for my accompaniment, right there on the solitary path through the mountains of Hida.

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