You may already know that Megijima is far from being my favorite island of the area, but that’s not a reason to completely snub it on this blog (although the fact I rarely visit it has for consequence that I don’t have much to share about it).
However, here are a few photos and random trivia about Megijima.
First, may I remind you that many consider Megijima to be Onigashima, the mythical island of Momotarō‘s story. I have already told you about the Oni Cave, but this is not the only place where you’ll see Oni on Megijima as you’ll see them even before landing on the island:
However, I think that the most interesting statue on Megijima is none of the Oni, but this one:
Yes, there is a Moai, an Easter Island statue, on Megijima!
It has been there since 1996 and of course, it doesn’t come from Easter Island. It has been built Kazuhiro Yamada, a sculptor coming from Kagawa. It was an order for a company called Tadano that builds cranes, which at the time was taking part in a Moai restoration project on Easter Island. It ordered the Moai in order to perform various tests on the cranes with it. Once they were ready and sent to Easter Island, the statue was given to Takamatsu and the municipality decided to place it permanently on Megijima (as the island is part of Takamatsu from an administrative point of view).
Like all of the other islands, Megijima suffers from depopulation, and when you’re there (except in the summer) the island really feels dead most of the time (one of the reasons I’m not such a big fan as opposed to its neighbors).
Looks like a nice place and a bit of a surprise to see an Easter Island statue there. Momotaro is such a classic tale in Japan and would be nice to say that you have indeed visited Onigashima 🙂
Yes, the Moai is surprising the first time, indeed.
I’m never too sure how famous Momotarō is outside of Kagawa/Okayama, but I guess that yes, he’s gotta be famous seeing how almost everything on Megijima has a Oni theme. Some people even want the name of the island to officially change to Onigashima.
However, in my opinion, they’re not doing it right, and it may hurt Megijima more than anything. I don’t think I’ve ever told the story of my first trip to Megijima, but it may be the reason why it’s the island I like the least in the area. (see the Oni cave post to get an idea, imagine visiting Kagawa, seeing these amazing places (Zentsuji, Konpirasan, Naoshima and then Megijima… Hard to not think of it as a bad joke afterwards)
That’s a wonderful collection of statues. I checked your post about Oni too. It’s always interesting to learn about the legends of other countries.
Yes, those Oni are very interesting. Especially because they look so much like Western Ogres and/or Demons (some Oni, the ones on Megijima among others resemble Ogres, some others, are closer to Demons in appearance).
But if I’m correct, demons originate from Mesopotamia, and if many things moved West from there, many things also move East as far as to Japan, it could be the case for demons (another example are days of the week)