Princess Monoke Island – Yakushima

Are you planning a trip to Japan? If so you should consider visiting Princess Monoke Island – Yakushima. The island was inspired by Fukushima’s natural wonders. The island also includes many incredible tales, fables, and myths that are related to the spirits/gods that live in the trees and mountains. These stories are very interesting and show how they inspired Princess Monoke. Here are some of the most interesting ones:

1. Sprite
A tree sprite that looked like a lovely woman appeared and smiled in the forests. If the person who met the sprite didn’t smile she sucked some blood from the neck of the person. The sprite did a lot of work during the New Year and mountain gods’ festivals. So during these days, the locals stayed out of the mountains and woods.

2. Typhoon
There’s a cave close to Tachu take from Yakusugi Land. It’s believed that the cave vibrates with a conch shells sound three days before a typhoon arriving on the island. Japan is affected by the typhoon season in the Pacific region. This takes place each year from May to October. Japan’s peak typhoon season takes place during August and September.

3. Trees
Men from Miyanoura talked about how they would use a tree’s lumber after they chopped down the tree. Then they heard the noise of a saw cutting into the tree. Next, the men heard the sound of the fall as it crashed down. After they witnessed these events, the men returned to the village and warned the people that the tree’s spirit had told them not to cut down any trees if it wasn’t necessary.

4. Deer
A lord was forcing a new type of Buddhism on residents. The mountain gods became anger, which resulted in the island rumbling with tremors and plagues hitting the region. Nichizo Shonin then sent a priest of the new Buddhism school to the mountains. He took an amulet to make the gods happy. However, the wind then picked up the amulet and threw it back to the village. This happened when another priest tried to make the gods happy. Nichizo Shonin then went himself and spent a week chanting Buddhist sutras. He carried the amulet to a shrine in the mountains. A white deer then showed up and bowed to the priest. It is believed that the tremors/plagues stopped afterward.

Yakushima is a popular island for locals and foreigners. For example, the magical forest of “Yaku Cedars” is covered with moss and is popular with visitors. Yakushima is located 60 km (37 miles) south of the southern tip of Kyushu island. The island’s climate has a range of sub-tropical to cool.

Its diverse/unique ecosystem and lovely nature have become very popular, and in 1993 it became a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site. The area is also known as “the island of ancient forest and water.” That’s because it has big Yaku cedars that are more than 1,000 years old. They have moss and a big water system.