The God of Childbirth

  • Modification: 2024/01/10
  • Area: nakama

Once upon a time, you might have chanced upon a plethora of sixty-centimetre-plus black stones set at the roots of this large tree.

For much of history, childbirth was an event wrought with life-threatening danger. As such, we can find many a childbirth-oriented shrine here on Yakushima.

As for Nakama’s god of childbirth—well, it is said that the black stones at the base of this tree would replicate themselves, increasing in number by one stone, each and every year. Until about 1948 (Shōwa 23), adolescent boys in the village used to grow flowers at this site. People would pray casually as they passed, but also when there was the flu or another bug going around, or before and after childbirth.

While the once abundant large black stones and their small pebble progeny are no longer here, the spirit of rest, rejuvenation, and well-wishes for the health and wellbeing of one’s family still remain at the foot of this tree.

The God of Childbirth



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