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  • Other Names: 鬼界ヶ島 (Kikaigashima)
  • Japanese: 硫黄島 (Iôshima)

Iôshima (lit. "sulfur island") is a small island in Kagoshima prefecture, located to the south of the Satsuma peninsula, and north of Kuchinoerabu Island and Yakushima. Iôshima is not to be confused with the similarly-named Iô Torishima in the Amami Islands, nor with the remote Iwo Jima far to the east, and famous for the World War II battle which took place there.

It is also sometimes known as Kikaigashima, and some accounts reckon that it was here, and not on the other nearby island by that name, that the monk Shunkan was exiled in 1177.[1] A small wooden structure called Shunkandô (Shunkan Hall) and located on the island is said to contain Shunkan's grave; another site on Kikaigashima is also said to mark his grave.

Local legends also contend that Taira no Yukimori, Taira no Arimori, and/or other members of the Taira clan fleeing Minamoto clan persecution in the aftermath of the Genpei War made their way to Iôshima. A torii gate at the Iôshima Kumano Sanshû Daigongen Shrine is said to have been erected by Yukimori and Arimori in 1201. An 1829 map or illustration of the island by Nagata Seizaemon also identifies a number of other sites as being associated with Yukimori, Arimori, and Emperor Antoku.[2]


  1. Ono Masako, Tomita Chinatsu, Kanna Keiko, Taguchi Megumi, "Shiryô shôkai Kishi Akimasa bunko Satsuyû kikô," Shiryôhenshûshitsu kiyô 31 (2006), 230.
  2. Gallery labels, "Hokorasha Amami" ほこらしゃ奄美 special exhibition, Reimeikan Museum, Kagoshima. Nov 2021.