Mysterious “Kumano Shrine” at Io Island, Kagoshima, Japan

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※地元・鹿児島県民の筆者がこの記事を書いています。

This post is also available in: 日本語

This article introduces Kumano Shrine in Io Island in Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan.

Please make a visit if you are interested in history.

 

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Shrine Gate

I discovered a shrine gate in a villlage in Io Island while waiting for ferry’s arrival.

熊野神社(硫黄島)

The shrine looks old and must have old history.

熊野神社(硫黄島)熊野神社(硫黄島)熊野神社(硫黄島)

熊野神社(硫黄島)

熊野神社(硫黄島)

What kind of God the shrine worships?

 

Shrine God

Emperor Antoku

He is the 81st emperor of Japan.

Amaterasu

She is the supreme Goddess and the Goddess of the Sun.

Tsukino Kami

He is the younger brother of Amaterasu and the God of the Moon.

 

History

In February of 1178, 3 people were exiled to this place because they had planned to defeat the government of that period.

2 of them (Naritsune and Yasuyori) built Kumano Shrine to pray for their return to hometown.

But it is said that a Buddhist priest Shunkan didn’t join them.

 

The interesting point is that they built the shrine in the geographically same way with another Kumano Shrine in Wakayama Prefecture.

熊野神社(硫黄島)

Naritsune and Yasuyori were successful in returning to hometown, but Shunkan was never allowed to return.

Shunkan died at the age of 37 at this remote small island.

He lived in this shabby lokking house.

 

In April of 1185, it is said that one emperor escaped from mainlands to Io Island after loss in battle.

The emperor is 81st emperor Antoku. He is said to live in Kumano Shrine as his castle.

熊野神社(硫黄島)

I the shrine garden, there is the tomb of the sun of emperor Antoku.

熊野神社(硫黄島)

 

Tomb of Emperor Antoku

There is the tomb of emperor Antoku and his followers near Kumano Shrine.

安徳天皇陵

I don’t take photos of tombs for the peace of the dead, but their tombs are very small.

The tomb itself is the piled stones and it is as tall as an adult’s waist.

I could not resist but thinking “Is it really the tomb of emperor?”

 

There are some places in Kyushu where it is said that emperor Antoku escaped and hided.

For example, following article introduces one of such places in Tarumizu City, Kagoshima Prefecture.

 

Now, Terukuni Shrine (Kagoshima City) administeres Kumano Shrine.

 

Shrine Seals

There is no shrine office.

 

Information of Kumano Shrine

Address

Iojima 29, Mishima Village, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan

Map

 

Nearby Sightseeing Spots

Higashi Spa

This ocen view spa is fantastic!

Shunkan Do

A buddihist priest Shunkan was exiled to Io Island and lived at this place.

Sakamoto Spa

This is a deserted spa.

 

Nearby Hotel

Shimayado Honda

The hotel is very close to harbour. The atmosphere is relaxing.

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