Hachijo-Jima: A Place to Rest on the Road of Life *RERUN
The island of Hachijo-jima is 290km south of Tokyo but officially part of the city. It is formed from 2 volcanoes. The island's topology is the result of repeated eruptions. People first lived on the island several thousand years ago. Since then, people have come to the island from across Japan. Locals welcome arriving visitors. This is the story of Japan's island of compassion.

Kihachijo: Auspicious Colors

Bright brown, jet black, and a luscious yellow. Kihachijo, an important local product, is a woven silk fabric combining these 3 colors. The colors used to dye the fabric all come from natural, local ingredients, with the dyeing techniques harnessing chemical reactions between the ingredients. Kihachijo is characterized by a bright lattice of dazzling patterns. As Hachijo-jima produced little rice, the fabric was sent to the shogun's court as tribute instead.

Hachijo-taiko Drumming

Throughout the summer, the sound of drums welcoming and sending off visitors rings across the port. Hachijo-taiko, or Hachijo drumming, is a long-standing traditional art. One drummer keeps the basic rhythm, and a 2nd drummer improvises a performance in time to the beat. In samurai days, the women weaving the Kihachijo fabric enjoyed drumming for their own entertainment.

Sengen Shrine on the Summit of Mt. Hachijo-fuji

The Sengen Shrine is in the caldera near the summit of Mt. Hachijo-fuji. Presenting stones to the shrine to fulfill wishes is a long-standing tradition on the island. The centerpiece of the shrine is a sacred rock. Both local deities and deities from the mainland are enshrined. Many people of all ages leave their wishes at the shrine. It takes about an hour to climb up the mountain to reach the shrine in the caldera.