The Former Site of Yoshida Elementary School

  • Modification: 2024/01/11
  • Area: yoshida

The area that currently houses the social heart of Yoshida village, the Yoshida Community Center, was once Yoshida Elementary School. The school opened its doors in April of 1876 and underwent some changes through the years, first becoming the Yoshida Citizen’s School in April of 1941 (Shōwa 16), then becoming Yoshida Elementary School in the spring of 1947 (Shōwa 22), following the postwar educational reforms. The postwar period saw the school’s highest enrollment, with a maximum student body of 119 in 1963 (Shōwa 38). By the time it was closed in 1973, there were only 57 students left.

While the buildings from Yoshida Elementary School no longer exist, the Manten Hall (which is a renovated lecture hall of the school’s) situated behind the Community Center is currently used as a media archive for the 2002 NHK morning drama, “Manten,” which was set on Yakushima.

The Former Site of Yoshida Elementary School

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Matsuri no Ōiwa (Festival Rock)

  • Modification: 2024/01/11
  • Area: yoshida

This granite monolith was formed 15.5 million years ago. Since time immemorial, New Year’s Day has found villagers purifying their bodies in the seawater, praying at this boulder, and then completing the short pilgrimage to the local Moriyama and Hidaka shrines.

When viewed against the backdrop of the green mountains, color harmony renders the exquisite white of the boulder’s surface even more beautiful. This, coupled with the boulder’s impressive size and local significance as a village protector, led Matsuri no Ōiwa to be listed by the Kagoshima Explorer’s Club (NPO) as a public heritage site.

Matsuri no Ōiwa

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Tonbore (tidal bath)

  • Modification: 2024/01/11
  • Area: yoshida

In Yoshida village, at a time when there were neither clinic nor medical facilities, the tonbore tidal bath was used as a remedy for everything from the day’s fatigue to superficial cuts, scrapes, and blemishes.

Tonbore are natural coastal rock formations that can accommodate one to two people at a time for a bath. Villagers would add water to the brine left behind by the receding tide, drop heated rocks into the water, and then top off the bath with medicinal herbs—perfect for a long, relaxing soak.

In addition to their use as healing baths for injuries, they were also frequently used after free-dive fishing or laboring in the fields during harvest season as a place to rest and restore the villagers’ tired bodies.

There are a total of eight tonbore in Yoshida village.


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