In Mountain Mandalas Allan G. Grapard provides a thought-provoking history of one aspect of the Japanese Shugendo tradition in Kyushu, by focusing on three cultic systems: Mount Hiko, Usa-Hachiman, and the Kunisaki Peninsula. Grapard draws from a rich range of theorists from the disciplines of geography, history, anthropology, sociology, and humanistic geography and situates the historical terrain of his research within a much larger context.This book includes detailed analyses of the geography of sacred sites, translations from many original texts, and discussions on rituals and social practices. Grapard studies Mount Hiko and the Kunisaki Peninsula, which was very influential in Japanese cultural and religious history throughout the ages. We are introduced to important information on archaic social structures and their religious traditions; the development of the cult to the deity Hachiman; a history of the interactions between Buddhism and local cults in Japan; a history of the Shugendo tradition of mountain religious ascetics, and much more.Mountain Mandalas sheds light on important aspects of Japan's religion and culture, and will be of interest to all scholars of Shinto and Japanese religion. Extensive translations of source material can be found on the book's webpage.