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Native name: Japanese: 舳倉島
Hegurajima 1975.jpg
View of Hegurajima in 1975
Hegurajima is located in Japan
Location Sea of Japan
Coordinates Coordinates: 37°51′5″N 136°55′7″E / 37.85139°N 136.91861°E / 37.85139; 136.91861
Area 0.55 km2 (0.21 sq mi)
Coastline 5 km (3.1 mi)
Highest elevation 12.4 m (40.7 ft)
Prefecture Ishikawa
City Wajima
Population 20-30
Ethnic groups Japanese

Hegurajima (舳倉島[1]) is a small island located in the Sea of Japan at the far north of Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan. It lies approximately 47 km from the northern tip of Noto Peninsula[2]., and is administratively part of Amamachi township within the city of Wajima. Hegurajima (literally helm-storehouse island) is approximately 2 km by 1 km in size and can easily be walked around in less than an hour.

The island is made of andesite, with steep cliffs on its northern side, and a sandy beach on it southern side, which is used as a shelter by fishermen.The island had a population of 164 in the year 2000 census, which dropped to 110 people in the 2010 census; however, the actual number of full-time residents is considerably less.

It is thought that Hegurajima corresponds to the island called Neko-no-Shima (Isle of the Cat) in a tale found in Konjaku Monogatari, an early 13th-century folktale collection.

Notable facts[edit]

There is a lighthouse in the center of the island and a small minshuku. During the summer months female ama divers dive for abalone, Turbo cornutus and Gelidiaceae for about 4–5 hours per day, following a long tradition that predates the use of wetsuits.[3] There is a small fishing port, and a ferry runs to Wajima on the mainland. The island is a haven for migratory birds, and attracts tourists for birdwatching.


  1. ^ Teikoku's Complete Atlas of Japan, ISBN 4-8071-0004-1
  2. ^ Campbell, Allen; Nobel, David S (1993). Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia. Kodansha. p. 514. ISBN 406205938X. 
  3. ^ Mohri M, Torii R, Nagaya K, Shiraki K, Elsner R, Takeuchi H, Park YS, Hong SK (June 1995). "Diving patterns of ama divers of Hegura Island, Japan". Undersea & Hyperbaric Medicine : Journal of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, Inc. 22 (2): 137–43. PMID 7633275. Retrieved 2013-04-06. 

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