Nunakuma Shrine is Tomonoura’s representative shrine, so locals call it “Gion-san” or “Gyon-san”.
In the Meiji Period, “Watasu Shrine” where Oowatatsumi no Mikoto, a deity of the sea, was enshrined was integrated with “Gion sha” where Susano no Mikoto, one of the three important deities, was enshrined. It soon became a place to pray for safety on the sea, good catch of fish, peace and prosperity in the household, good health or cure for disease, academic achievement, safe child birth, etc. This became known as Nunakuma Shrine.
Also at the shrine grounds, there is an assembled style Noh-style stage created by Hideyoshi Toyotomi. When Fushimi Castle was in Kyoto, this Noh stage was transferred from Hidetada Tokugawa to Katsunari Mizuno, an owner of Fukuyama Castle, then was donated to Tomonotsu Gion sha (the current Nunakuma Shrine) in the 1650s.
Initially it was quite compact and was easy to assemble, disassemble and move wherever you want. Now, however, it is permanently fixed and installed with the wooden shingle roofing, a dressing room, a room filled with mirrors, and a bridge hanging. In 1953, it was designated as an Important Cultural Property of Japan, and today, it is still used as a Noh stage.
In addition, the second Torii is registered as an Important Cultural Property of Hiroshima Prefecture and the stone lantern is registered as a Designated Important Cultural Property of Fukuyama City.
There are various festivals held throughout the year at Nunakuma Shrine.
The “Shinto Bow Ritual” offers prayers for the peace and safety of the year in February, “Chinowa-kuguri (passing through a hoop made of kaya grass)” purifies impurities in June, “Otebi Shinto Ritual” involves climbing up stone stairs while carrying a huge fire torch in July, and the “Oo Matsuri (Autumn Festival)” is said to be the biggest festival in Tomonoura at Watasu Shrine. Many people come visit to see the festival from both inside and outside Tomonoura, and the town is bustling with activity.
Address/ 1225 Ushiroji, Tomo-cho, Fukuyama-shi, Hiroshima