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Shitodo-no-iwaya Hidden Cave (in Manazuru)

The Shitodo no iwaya cave was carved into rock by ocean waves.

It was once at sea level, but the land has been uplifted by a l arge earthquake. After the Shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo was defeated in battle in 1180, he wandered the mountains of the Hakone area and hid from his pursuers in Shitodo no iwaya.

Today the entrance to the cave is small and the cave does not extend far into the mountain, yet at the time of the Shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo the cave was about 130 m deep.

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Changes of Shitodo-no-iwaya Hidden Cave

It is said that at the Yoritomo era the cave’s depth was 130m.   However the cave was gradually trimmed by wave, the width was 3m and depth was 11m at the end of the Edo period.  At that time the cave faced the ocean, then grown to the current height by the land lift occurred by the Great Kanto Earthquake.

This area is made by Manazuru Cape Lava (Andesitic).  At the time of World War II, a lot of stone were cut out from this area to build a naval airport, which made this area this scale.

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“Shitodo-no-iwaya before land lift”

(1922: Year of Taisho 11)

Origin of the three family names in Manazuru

There are three old family names in Manazuru; Aoki, Gomi, Omori.  It is said that these family names were given to people to recognize achievement to help Yoritomo when he hid in the Shitodo-no-iwaya.   These three family names are: “Aoki” to whom hid the entrance with tree branches.  “Gomi”, meaning five tastes, to whom arranged foods, and “Omori” to surveillance to protect Yoritomo against chasers.