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.
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.