Buddhism is the main religion and many people went on religious pilgrimages to shrines and temples to pray to various deities and beg for alms. Katsu runs away twice during his life and makes pilgrimages where he encounters many different classes of people such as priests, beggars, merchants and even other samurai throughout his travels. Furthermore, it is during these traveling pilgrimages that evidence of the importance of religion in the Tokugawa period is seen. Even though Katsu has many faults and issues with financial hardships throughout his life, he always remains true to his religious beliefs and the power of prayer.
For people of both higher and lower ranks, religion was important for different yet similar reasons. People that were in poverty (as Katsu ends up broke many times throughout his life) went to pray at the shrines and temples through pilgrimages and often went through religious rituals to try to bring about whatever it is they were seeking. There were beggars and priests that could be seen at these shrines and temples. In addition, alms such as coins were given to beggars and warm meals and maybe even an overnight place to sleep and take shelter. Moreover, people that were a little better off financially may have wanted to earn power through religion by forming organizations. Furthermore, they may have also wanted to show respect and sometimes prestige through religious worship. It is clear that no matter what class or rank, religion was important to help improve the people’s lives in some way.
In Katsu’s childhood, he runs away a couple of times without telling anyone. During these travels, he gets into trouble, goes broke and loses money and belongings and he even becomes very ill. He meets all different kinds of people while he is on pilgrimage at different times and there are many examples of how he used religion throughout his travels. One example is when Katsu went to the Ise Shrine for help. He was told by an inns keeper to go…

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