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动漫宠物小精灵折射的日本朝圣文化The anime Pokemon is one of the best examples of Japanese pilgrimage

动漫宠物小精灵折射的日本朝圣文化The anime Pokemon is one of the best examples of Japanese pilgrimage

表面上看,动漫宠物小精灵可能只是一个关于孩子们捕捉、收集、培养拥有魔力生物,也就是通常所说的神奇宝贝,但如果深入的看,你会发现这是日本朝圣文化的一个最好的例子。
The anime Pokemon on the surface may just seem like a show about kids collecting, training and battling magical monsters, but looking at it closely one actually finds it is one of the best examples of Japanese pilgrimage.
In the anime Pokemon each adventure is a linear pilgrimage with the ultimate goal being reaching the Pokemon League. While there is no specific clothing associated with this pilgrimage. However, those on the journey are issued a Pokedex, which is an electronic pocket sized identification module that also identifies and has information on all Pokemon stored inside it.

All those who carry a Pokedex are identified as Pokemon trainers and are normally assumed to be attempting to get to the Pokemon League to accomplish the goal of becoming a Pokemon master trainer. However as the anime shows, not all Pokemon trainers on this journey have the goal of being a Pokemon master trainer. Several characters have different goals for traveling, such as becoming a Pokemon breeder or a master water Pokemon trainer, etc. While each traveler may have a different goal in mind, each person respects the other traveler’s goals and dreams which allows for the maintenance of comunitas and liminality amongst the people traveling together and further allows the development of friendships between them and others met along the journey.
Furthermore there is a way to record the journey, and this is done with gym badges. In order to be accepted into the Pokemon League a trainer has to present eight recognized gym badges that can be obtained from different gyms found throughout the region. This also allows for exchange to occur because in order to get the badge you have to defeat the gym leader in a Pokemon battle.http://ukthesiss.com/shx/

This exchange demonstrates to the gym leader the hard work, determination and bonds developed between the trainer and their Pokemon that have been developed on their journey up until their point of meeting. As a side note, there is also an inadvertent monetary exchange as Pokemon gyms receive money from the Pokemon League for as long as they remain open and properly functional within the guidelines of the Pokemon League. Lastly, the most important aspect of pilgrimage is the special inns that provides the pilgrim some place to stay for free and provide a free meal. In the Pokemon world, the Pokemon Centers provide this function, as these places are not only Pokemon hospitals but also double as mini inns for trainers that provide a place to sleep and a meal to eat.
 
Overall, the show Pokemon functions as one of the best examples of Japanese pilgrimage in the media, as it possesses all of the criteria that we have established in class that defines an authentic Japanese pilgrimage. In terms of significance, this example shows that pilgrimage is imbedded so deep into the Japanese culture that a show was created around the idea of pilgrimage.



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