Chikanoshima (知訶島 – Near Isles) was, according to the Kojiki, the fifth island born after the Great Land of Eightfold Isles, inhabited by the kami Amenooshio. The island forms part of the Gotō Peninsula, west of Nagasaki. It is often the first island seen by foreigners and acted as a stop off point on the route to China.

According to the Fudoki the island received its name from Emperor Keikō after its proximity to the Land of Firelight.1

The Nihongi does not give a name to this island, simply stating:

Izanami and Izanami then produced the sea, the rivers, and then the mountains, after the Eightfold Isles.2


1. Yasumaro. O, translated by Gustav Heldt. (2014) “Kojiki. An Account of Ancient Matters”. New York: Columbia University Press.
2. Aston. W.G. (1896) “Nihongi Volume 1: Chronicles of Japan from the Earliest Times to AD697”. Tuttle Publishing.

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