On SACRED JOURNEY OF KU-KAI VOL.
2, Kitaro sets out to complete his musical survey of Shikoku.
A secluded Japanese island, Shikoku is the home to 88 ancient temples.
(The iconoclastic Buddhist priest Ku-Kai was the first to make the sacred pilgrimage across this island.) As on the first volume, Kitaro brings to life the ancient beauty and mystical power of this land.
In order to do this, the New Age composer traveled to many Shikoku temples, among them Ryouzenji, Konsenji, and Gokurakuji.
His goal was to internalize the natural beauty of these surroundings and to capture the sound of each temple bell.
Not surprisingly, these bells are heard throughout the album.
Their soft tolling especially complements Kitaro's keyboards on the futuristic "Kan-Non" and on the foreboding "Ritual Waves." Kitaro also uses traditional Asian instruments on all 11 tracks.
Among others, the opening track, "Shining Spirit of Water," features a spacious and haunting koto (Japanese zither) melody.
Additionally, various flutes and pipes are heard soaring high above on many of these selections.
The best example of this may be on the sweeping ballad "As the Wind Blows.".