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“We’re most of us less happy when we’re trying to control or perfect something thanwhen we’re giving ourselves up to it”—Pico Iyer
The special section of this issue of KJ was inspired by the symbols and practices of devotion that are so ubiquitous in our own city. Of course, devotion is visible in the form of the many temples and shrines that dot every city block, with histories stretching back over a millennium.Yet the devotion seen among Kyoto’s residents is not necessarily entirely religious in nature, but of a kind that centres upon transcending the self. Here we gatherstories that demonstrate devotion in the broadest sense: be it the pursuit of mastery of an art, a tribute to a lasting friendship, or a commitment to living life to its fullest.