Sado Island: Into the Mystic Dreams *RERUN
The stage for this episode of Seasoning the Seasons is the largest remote island in the Sea of Japan, Sado, which lies beyond the rough seas. This island was feared as "the end of this world where ogres live" for more than a thousand years. Sado started to become an "attractive island" in the Edo period, when a gold mine began to draw people. Various cultures brought into the island by shipping in the Sea of Japan, coupled with the harsh climate of Sado, evolved into a form of its own, and are alive in the islanders' lives today. The surging waves often washed in and trap the times, and as such the island still embodies cultures of "old Japan" no longer seen in other parts of the country.

Oni-Daiko (Ogre drums)

The "Oni-Daiko (Ogre drums)" has been passed down in many parts of the island. Ogres, which were once feared, have become heroes, and beat drums to keep peace and prosperity in the villages as guardians, while young locals who dance with all their body and soul become avatars for the ogres.


Yellowtail flocks into the bay to avoid the rough seas of Sado. Yellowtail, which are indispensable in celebrations in Japan, is a high-quality winter fish. They are a blessing for fishermen, accounting for 80% of their annual revenue. The fishing ground is right in front of the island. It is not uncommon for the fishermen to catch 10,000 yellowtails in one night with the fixed nets.

Gold Mine

Full-scale mining began in the local gold mine in the 16th century, and has contributed to the prosperity of Sado for over 400 years. Parts of the remaining mineshafts are now a tourist heritage that helps tell the island's history to people who visit.