For the residents of Aogashima, an island about 200 miles due south of Tokyo, 1785 was an unforgettable year.
Giant plumes of gas and smoke billowed out from the mouth of the island’s volcano, shooting rocks, mud and other debris into the sky.
Those who live on the island that’s home to a volcano still registered as active by the Japanese Meteorological Agency, the governmental agency responsible for monitoring the nation’s 110 active volcanoes, know that there’s always the chance that history could repeat itself.
One such resident is Masanubu Yoshida, a government worker who has lived on the island for the past 15 years.
Fishing is a popular pastime for many residents, as the island is situated in the middle of the Philippine Sea.
Besides acres of expansive greenery, the island is home to a shochu distillery-a liquor that is similar to vodka and is the national spirit of Japan-a salt manufacturer, several general stores, a bed and breakfast and an automobile repair factory.
The crush he feels being just a speck amongst Tokyo’s some 13.4 million residents is enough for him to crave the solitude he experiences back home on the island.
Aogashima is a volcanic Japanese island in the Philippine Sea.
The island is administered by Tokyo and located approximately 358 kilometers south of Tokyo and 64 kilometers south of Hachijō-jima.
The village of Aogashima administers the island under Hachijō Subprefecture of Tokyo Metropolis.
Aogashima is a complex Quaternary volcanic island 3.5 km in length with a maximum width of 2.5 km, formed by the overlapping remnants of at least four submarine calderas.
The island is surrounded by very steep rugged cliffs of layered volcanic deposits.
The caldera dominates the island, with one point on its southern ridge, Otonbu with a height of 423 metres, as the island’s highest point.
The island is mentioned in Edo period records kept at Hachijō-jima, which record volcanic activity in 1652, and from 1670-1680.
photo src: Aogashima (Charly W. Karl – Flickr/Creative Commons)