Tojinbo - Oshima (1)

東尋坊 − 雄島


Tojimbo is a series of surreal, eerie basaltic cliffs on the Sea of Japan in Fukui Prefecture . It is well-known for its plague of suicides. Ronin (high school students who fail the university entrance exams) have been known to particularly favour the place. Oshima, a small island lying directly across from the morbid cliff is said to be haunted by the bodies that frequently wash up on its shore.

Tojinbo is at all times dramatic. In low tide, pools of vivid green water are created immediately adjacent others of vivid blue. In high tide, violent foamy waves see the amongst near-black rocks. In winter, you can observe the phenomenon called "Nami-no-hana" or flowers of waves. They occur when the broken waves are caught in the reefs and turned into bubbles that the violent winds then fan up in to the air.

The Tojinbo cliffs can be separated into four parts. First the cliffs itself, second a red bridge where the bodies wash up, third Oshima island that the red bridge connect to the main land, which is the resting place of the spirits of the deceased, and fourth statue of a Shinto God in a tunnel, which shows displeasure in his face if something bad will happen. There is no high fence to obstruct anyone from jumping, just a simple sign near the edge saying "Make that call," and another directly across from the telephone booth as "Don't hurry to die; no one can replace you."

Legend says that in the 900's a monk Kakunen pushed a corrupt priest Tojinbo of Eheiji temple off a steep cliff during a drinking party. The murder was inspired by a rivalry for the love of a beautiful Princess Aya. Incidentally, Tojinbo was very unpopular. He shirked his duties, angered his peers and enraged the local populace. In any case, Tojinbo died and haunted the cliff causing violent storms and waves. Years later, another priest took pity on vengeful Tojinbo and held a special memorial service for him. The priest floated a prayer he'd written out on to the waves. Since then evil spirit was somewhat soothed but the ghost is still haunting the area.











































Copyright (C): Kari Gröhn. All rights reserved.

Back               Home