Kutsu-jima Island (沓島)

Kutsu-jima Island in the Wakasa Bay is located off the coast of Maizuru City, Kyoto Prefecture.

Along with Kanmuri-jima Island, it is designated as the Kanmurijima and Kutsujima islands game reserve (collective breeding place) by Kyoto Prefecture (the total area of both islands is 471 hectares, including 44 hectares of special protection area), and is an uninhabited island, with visits largely banned in order to protect breeding sea birds.

Location

Kutsu-jima Island is located approx. 2.5km northeast of Kanmuri-jima island in the Wakasa Bay. It belongs to Maizuru City, Kyoto Prefecture.

Topography

The Island covers approx. 9,700㎡.

The island consists of Miocene Anzangan (andesite) and other rocks: truly a natural treasury. Its northern edge has a reef 89m above sea level which is called Tsuriganeiwa rock. The island is surrounded on all four sides by a sheer cliff.

The bottom topography of the eastern part of both islands, Kanmuri-jima Island and Kutsu-jima island, consists of a steep cliff nearly 60m high, and a fault is presumed to run from north to south. Other parts of the sea floor around the island form a flat continental shelf approx. 100m below the surface of the sea.

Tango no kuni Fudoki (the records of Tango Province) contains information that a sizable island was submerged by an earthquake in 701, and as a result, only the top remained, forming Kanmuri-jima island and Kutsu-jima Island. However, it is said that the scale of this earthquake was not as big as estimated from its description.

Ecology

Kutsu-jima Island is famous as a breeding place of black-tailed gulls and Swinhoe's storm-petrel, and many kinds of sea birds such as Japanese Murrelet breed collectively. Therefore, the island has been designated as a natural monument of Maizuru City.

Legend related to Omoto

It is said that in May 1901, Nao DEGUCHI, the founder of Omoto, visited the Island, and spread Shinsui (sacred water) (Kinmei water), which was brought from a place recognized as sacred by the Omoto, as well as water from Moto Ise (shrines or places where the deities of Ise Jingu Shrine were once enshrined) to the sea directly beneath the peak of Tsuriganeiwa rock.

In May 1905, she secluded herself in the island (called "Kutsujima gomori" (seclude in Kutsujima Island), and prayed for world peace. Omoto believers have passed down a tale that this prayer brought victory during the Russo-Japanese War, at the Battle of Tsushima.