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Shingu City, Nachikatsuura-cho, Taiji-cho and Kushimoto-cho, Wakayama PrefectureLive with whales

Kochi Matsuri no Mifune-gyoji

Kochi Matsuri no Mifune-gyoji

Summary

Whales were very special to Japanese people as an object of religious faith. People were afraid of the huge body that swims sedately in the open sea. However they occasionally used beached whale as food or material for tools. Sooner or later they started whaling to make their lives stable.
In the Edo period people descended from Kumano Suigun navy established a whaling business including a distribution system. Since then, in the Kumano-nada coast, they are have lived their lives catching whales, feeling gratitude to them. Historic sites which show signs of whaling in those days dot in and around the area, and festivals, traditional performing arts and food culture related with whales have been passed on to this day.

Cultural properties

  • Kuro-shima
    Kuro-shima
    Kuro-shima
  • The tomb of Motoyori Wada, founder of whaling
    The tomb of Motoyori Wada, founder of whaling
    The tomb of Motoyori Wada, founder of whaling
  • Kujira (Whales) dance in Taiji-cho
    Kujira (Whales) dance in Taiji-cho
    Kujira (Whales) dance in Taiji-cho
  • Kujira (Whales) dance in Miwasaki, Shingu City
    Kujira (Whales) dance in Miwasaki, Shingu City
    Kujira (Whales) dance in Miwasaki, Shingu City

Map of cultural properties