Monday, August 18, 2008

Sado Island

Sado Island
basic information

Sado Island lies just off the coast of Niigata Prefecture, and is one of Japan's largest islands. This remote place has long been a destination for political exiles, many of whom ended up working in Sado's prosperous gold mine.

The three most prominent figures sent into exile to Sado were the former Emperor Juntoku, the Buddhist monk Nichiren and the founder of Noh, Zeami Motokiyo. While the island is no longer a place of exile, traces of the culture and religion that these figures brought with them remain today.

Sado's biggest attraction is the Earth Celebration, an annual international music festival hosted by Sado's own, world renowned Kodo taiko group. The island is also home to the endangered Toki or Japanese Ibis, extinct in the wild but planned to be reintroduced thanks to a successful breeding program.

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