• SHARE

Once upon a time there was — well, actually there wasn’t, but people thought there was, and what people think there is influences more behavior than what is — an island. Many set sail for it. No one returned.

Its name in Japanese is Fudaraku; its location, somewhere in the southern seas. That’s precise enough. Not geography or seamanship but faith guided the pilgrim to it. He set sail alone in a sealed boat. To the skeptical modern mind it’s suicide, but this story is neither skeptical nor modern, and the reward — rebirth in the Buddhist Pure Land — was, to the devout, worth many deaths.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

PHOTO GALLERY (CLICK TO ENLARGE)