Chikubu Island

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File:Chikubu Island.jpg
Chikubu Island

Chikubu (竹生島 Chikubu-shima?) is an island in Lake Biwa in Japan. Chikubushima is a nationally designated Place of Scenic Beauty and Historic Site.

The island's geographic coordinates are 35°25′24″ N, 136°8′37″ E. Its area is 0.14 km² and its coastline measures 2 km. The highest point has an elevation of 197 m. It is under the administration of the city of Nagahama, Shiga Prefecture.

Several works of the Japanese performing arts relate to Chikubu. They include the Noh play Chikubushima and the Heike Biwa work Chikubushima Mōde, two koto melodies named Chikubushima, a jōruri (itchūbushi), a nagauta, and a tokiwazu-bushi of the same name.

On the island are various places of interest. In the southern part are the Tsukubusuma Shrine, said to have been established in 420, and Hōgon-ji, a Shingon temple said to date from 724. Formerly known as Chikubu Benzai-ten, it ranks with the Enoshima Shrine in the Kantō region and the Itsukushima Shrine in the Chūgoku Region as one of Japan's Three Great Benzaiten Shrines.

During the Sengoku period, retainers of Azai Nagamasa confined his father Hisamasa to Chikubu Island, forcing him into retirement and establishing Nagamasa as his successor.


This article incorporates material translated from 竹生島 (Chikubu-shima) in the Japanese Wikipedia, retrieved on November 21, 2008.

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