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Jinoshima, Okinoshima, and Awaji Island You gaDao Ji Dan Hai Xia PA071003.jpg
Jinoshima, Okinoshima, and Awaji Island
Views of Tomogashima (1798) Views of Tomogashima.jpg
Views of Tomogashima (1798)

Tomogashima(友ヶ島) is a cluster of four islands in the Inland Sea, off Wakayama, Wakayama, Japan. The four islands are Jinoshima(地ノ島), Kamishima(神島), Okinoshima(沖ノ島), and Torajima(虎島). The islands form part of the Setonaikai National Park. [1] [2]

Seto Inland Sea A marginal sea between Honshū, Shikoku, and Kyūshū

The Seto Inland Sea, also known as Setouchi or often shortened to Inland Sea, is the body of water separating Honshū, Shikoku, and Kyūshū, three of the four main islands of Japan. The region that includes the Seto Inland Sea and the coastal areas of Honshū, Shikoku, and Kyūshū is known as the Setouchi Region. It serves as a waterway, connecting the Pacific Ocean to the Sea of Japan. It connects to Osaka Bay and provides a sea transport link to industrial centers in the Kansai region, including Osaka and Kobe. Before the construction of the San'yō Main Line, it was the main transportation link between Kansai and Kyūshū.

Setonaikai National Park national park of Japan

Setonaikai National Park is a national park comprising areas of Japan's Inland Sea and of ten bordering prefectures. Designated a national park in 1934, it has since been expanded several times. It contains about 3,000 islands, including the well-known Itsukushima. As the park is formed of many non-contiguous areas and covers a tiny proportion of the Inland Sea's total extent, control and protection is problematic, with much of the wider area heavily industrialized.



The islands were used by Buddhist monks for Shugendō. The folklore of the region holds that Ennogyoja, the founder of shugendo, underwent training on the steep cliffs of Tomogashima in the seventh to eighth centuries. This gave rise to the nickname of "The island of shugendo (mountain asceticism)" for Tomogashima.

<i>Shugendō</i> Japanese religious tradition blending elements of Shinto and Buddhism (Shingon, Tendai) originating in the 7th century, said to be founded by En no Gyōja

Shugendō is a highly syncretic religion that originated in Heian Japan. Practitioners are called Shugenja (修験者) or Yamabushi.

Later, during the Meiji period, a brick fort and lighthouse were built. [1] [3] Also during this time gun batteries and other defences, along with various support facilities, were constructed to counter foreign warships. Tomogashima was a critical component of the Shusei Kokubō (守勢国防 - i.e. "Static Defence") policy of the 1870s and 1880s, which emphasised coastal defences. Access to the cluster by the public was strictly prohibited by the Imperial Japanese Army up to the end of World War II. [4]

Meiji period Japanese era 1868–1912

The Meiji period, or Meiji era, is an era of Japanese history which extended from October 23, 1868 to July 30, 1912. This era represents the first half of the Empire of Japan, during which period the Japanese people moved from being an isolated feudal society at risk of colonisation by European powers to the new paradigm of a modern, industrialised nationstate and emergent great power, influenced by Western scientific, technological, philosophical, political, legal, and aesthetic ideas. As a result of such wholesale adoption of radically-different ideas, the changes to Japan were profound, and affected its social structure, internal politics, economy, military, and foreign relations. The period corresponded to the reign of Emperor Meiji and was succeeded upon the accession of Emperor Taishō by the Taishō period.

Tomogashima Lighthouse lighthouse in Japan

Tomogashima Lighthouse is a lighthouse on the island of Tomogashima in Wakayama, Wakayama, Japan.

Imperial Japanese Army Official ground-based armed force of the Empire of Japan, from 1868 to 1945

The Imperial Japanese Army was the official ground-based armed force of the Empire of Japan from 1868 to 1945. It was controlled by the Imperial Japanese Army General Staff Office and the Ministry of the Army, both of which were nominally subordinate to the Emperor of Japan as supreme commander of the army and the navy. Later an Inspectorate General of Aviation became the third agency with oversight of the army. During wartime or national emergencies, the nominal command functions of the emperor would be centralized in an Imperial General Headquarters (IGHQ), an ad-hoc body consisting of the chief and vice chief of the Army General Staff, the Minister of the Army, the chief and vice chief of the Naval General Staff, the Inspector General of Aviation, and the Inspector General of Military Training.

Depictions in art

Tomogashima is the subject of a scroll of 1661 in the Shōgo-in in Kyoto by Kanō Tan'yū as well as an anonymous work of 1798 in the British Museum. [3] [5]

<i>Emakimono</i> Japanese narrative handscroll

Emakimono, often simply called emaki (絵巻), is a horizontal, illustrated narrative form created during the 11th to 16th centuries in Japan. Emakimono combines both text and pictures, and is drawn, painted, or stamped on a handscroll. They depict battles, romance, religion, folk tales, and stories of the supernatural world.

Kyoto Designated city in Kansai, Japan

Kyoto, officially Kyoto City, is the capital city of Kyoto Prefecture, located in the Kansai region of Japan. It is best known in Japanese history for being the former Imperial capital of Japan for more than one thousand years, as well as a major part of the Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe metropolitan area.

Kanō Tanyū Japanese artist

Kanō Tan'yū was one of the foremost Japanese painters of the Kanō school. His original given name was Morinobu; he was the eldest son of Kanō Takanobu and grandson of Kanō Eitoku. Many of the most famous and widely known Kanō works today are by Tan'yū.

See also

Imperial Japanese Navy Naval branch of the Empire of Japan

The Imperial Japanese Navy was the navy of the Empire of Japan from 1868 until 1945, when it was dissolved following Japan's surrender in World War II. The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) was formed after the dissolution of the IJN.

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Wakayama Prefecture Prefecture of Japan

Wakayama Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan on the Kii Peninsula in the Kansai region on Honshū island. The capital is the city of Wakayama.

Hyōgo Prefecture Prefecture of Japan

Hyōgo Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kansai region on Honshu island. The capital of Hyogo is Kobe.

Kure, Hiroshima Core city in Chūgoku, Japan

Kure is a port and major shipbuilding city situated on the Seto Inland Sea in Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan. With a strong industrial heritage Kure hosts the second oldest naval dockyard in Japan and remains an important base for the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF).

Itsukushima island in Hiroshima, Japan

Itsukushima (厳島) is an island in the western part of the Inland Sea of Japan, located in the northwest of Hiroshima Bay. It is popularly known as Miyajima (宮島), which in Japanese means "Shrine Island". The island is one of Hayashi Gahō's Three Views of Japan specified in 1643. Itsukushima is part of the city of Hatsukaichi in Hiroshima Prefecture. The island was part of the former town of Miyajima before the 2005 merger with Hatsukaichi.

Yagishiri Island island in Hokkaido, Japan

Yagishiri Island is a small, sparsely populated island in the Sea of Japan, located 23 kilometres (14 mi) northwest of Haboro Bay in Haboro, Hokkaido. The island, along with neighboring Teuri Island, belongs to the town of Haboro in Rumoi Subprefecture. The island is noted for its dense forests, and fully two-thirds of Yagishiri Island remains forested.

Kii Ōshima island in Wakayama, Japan

Kii Ōshima (紀伊大島) is an island lying 1.8 square kilometres (0.69 sq mi) off Cape Shionomisaki, the tip of the Kii Peninsula and the southernmost point of Honshū, Japan. It falls under the administration of the town of Kushimoto in Wakayama Prefecture. About 2000 people live on Kii Ōshima.

Mount Misen mountain in Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan

Mount Misen is the sacred mountain on Itsukushima in Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima, Japan, and is the highest mountain on the island at 535 m; it is situated within the World Heritage area of Itsukushima Shrine.

Shiwaku Islands

The Shiwaku Islands or Shiwaku-jima (塩飽島) form an archipelago in the Japanese Inland Sea.

Kuroshima and Taijima are a set of islands about one kilometer off the coast of Honshū in Japan by the mouth of the Koza River, a five-minute ride by ferry from Koza Port. The islands are considered part of Kushimoto, Wakayama Prefecture. The islands were used as a naval base of operations during the Genpei War.

Kii-Nakanoshima Station railway station in Wakayama, Wakayama prefecture, Japan

Kii-Nakanoshima Station is a railway station in Wakayama, Wakayama Prefecture, Japan.

Saikazaki cape in Japan

Saikazaki is a cape in the southern part of Wakayama, Wakayama Prefecture, and is a specially designated region by Setonaikai National Park.

Olive Jinja is a Greek-style Shinto shrine on the island of Shōdoshima in the Inland Sea, Kagawa Prefecture, Japan. Constructed in 1973 and standing amidst a grove of olives - a thriving industry on the island - the shrine takes the form of a replica Greek temple, with stylobate, Doric columns, entablature with triglyphs, and bronze pedimental reliefs. There is an annual festival with Greek themes. The shrine is located within Setonaikai National Park.

Kitan Strait

The Kitan Strait or Tomogashima Channel separates Awaji Island from Wakayama, Wakayama Prefecture, Japan and connects the Osaka Bay in the north to the Kii Channel in the south. The total width is 11 km, but the islands of Tomogashima reduce the distance to be spanned by a proposed bridge. The strait forms part of the Setonaikai National Park.

Tango-Amanohashidate-Ōeyama Quasi-National Park

Tango-Amanohashidate-Ōeyama Quasi-National Park is a Quasi-National Park in northern Kyōto Prefecture, Japan. Established in 2007, the park comprises a number of non-contiguous areas of the former Tango Province, with a central focus on Mount Ōe (大江山) and Amanohashidate, one of the Three Views of Japan.


The gorge of Kankakei is a nationally designated Place of Scenic Beauty on the island of Shōdo-shima, Kagawa Prefecture, Japan. Part of the Setonaikai National Park, the heights rise to 812 m. The area is celebrated for its Japanese maple trees. Volunteers formed a preservation society in 1898 and when, in 1912, expropriation of the area was attempted, a soy sauce magnate stepped in to ensure its preservation. In 1927 Kankakei was selected as one of the 100 Landscapes of Japan.

Tsunoshima island in Yamaguchi, Japan

Tsunoshima (角島) is an island located in the Sea of Japan. Located in the north west of Yamaguchi Prefecture, it is a part of Shimonoseki city. The island has an area of 4.1 square kilometers (1.6 sq mi) and has a coastline of 17.1 kilometres (10.6 mi). The island consists primarily of basalt, and is a part of the Kita-Nagato Kaigan Quasi-National Park. As of 28 August 2008, the population of Tsunoshima stood at 907.

Ryujin Onsen

Ryujin Onsen is a Japanese onsen, hot spring located in Ryūjin village, now the part of Nakahechi town in Wakayama Prefecture. Ryujin Onsen was discovered in the 7th century by Ennogyoja, the founder of Shugendō. Kobo Daishi, founder of Shingon Buddhism visited the spot in the 9th century. During the Edo era (1603-1868), the onsen was used as a resort area by the Tokugawa ruling family, whose castle was in Wakayama city. Today there are old Japanese inns, ryokans, using the names Kamigoten and Shimogoten, from the old feudal system. It is said to be the third best onsen for beautifying your skin in Japan.


  1. 1 2 "Photo Museum - Tomogashima". Wakayama Prefecture . Retrieved 1 February 2012.
  2. "Setonaikai National Park - Map 1" (PDF). Ministry of the Environment . Retrieved 1 February 2012.
  3. 1 2 "Views of Tomogashima, a handscroll painting". British Museum . Retrieved 1 February 2012.
  4. Whispers of priests and warriors / Military past pervades Tomogashima island The Japan Newsby the Yomiuri Shimbun, July 14th, 2013.
  5. Hirayama Ikuo & Kobayashi Tadashi, edd. (1992). 秘藏日本美術大觀 (Hizō Nihon bijutsu taikan), Vol. 2. Kodansha.

Coordinates: 34°16′55.9″N135°0′39.5″E / 34.282194°N 135.010972°E / 34.282194; 135.010972

Geographic coordinate system Coordinate system

A geographic coordinate system is a coordinate system that enables every location on Earth to be specified by a set of numbers, letters or symbols. The coordinates are often chosen such that one of the numbers represents a vertical position and two or three of the numbers represent a horizontal position; alternatively, a geographic position may be expressed in a combined three-dimensional Cartesian vector. A common choice of coordinates is latitude, longitude and elevation. To specify a location on a plane requires a map projection.