Tenkou Shrine

天后宮

Inside Tenkou Shrine

Tenkou Shrine is a small structure located in the Maja neighborhood. Every year there is a large Okinawan Sumo competition there.

During the Ryukyu kingdom, visit of Sakuhosen or Chinese vessels were important events due to the flow of trade, culture, and ideas from China. In 1756, a ship bearing the Chinese ambassador sent for the Sakuho of the King of Ryukyu was shipwrecked near Maja, off the east coast of Kumejima. The ambassador and his men were rescued by Kume Island villagers. In 1759, as a token of his gratitude, the ambassador built Tenkogu (Shrine of Heavenly Empress), dedicated to the god of sea voyage.

The shrine still stands today, a unique tangible cultural asset highlighting the importance of Kumejima as a wayfare station between China and the old Ryukyu Kingdom.

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