Those who come here are either an enemy or a lost child. Which are you?

A legendary demon who can silence even a crying child


Tagamaru is a demon who lives at Onigajo. He is literally as terrifying as a demon towards enemies, but towards those he deems friends, he is a caring and kind as a big-brother figure. He loves Nanki mandarin oranges.

Legends of Higashikishu

In the early Heian period (794-1185), under the rule of Emperor Kanmu (reigned 781-806), the government regarded any powerful person who did not obey them as a threat, calling them “demons.” Kumano pirate Tagamaru was also regarded as a demon, and Shogun Sakanoue no Tamuramaro was ordered by Emperor Kanmu to subjugate him. Inhabitants of heaven revealed to Sakanoue no Tamuramaro that Tagamaru was hiding out near the Onigajo cliffs.

The Shogun's army attempted to attack the cliffs, but from the land, Tagamaru was protected by sheer towering rocks, while strong waves pounded the beach, making it impossible to approach from the sea. Just then, a child appeared on Mamirugashima, an offshore island, and began singing and dancing, comically throwing up his arms and legs. The soldiers began mimicking him, and pandemonium eschewed. Tagamaru was hiding behind Onigajo's solid rock door, but the instant he poked his head out to see what was going on, Sakanoue no Tamuramaro killed him with an arrow. Tagamaru's remains were buried at Oma-jinja (Ido Town, Kumano City), and his story continues to be told today in association with Onigajo (a World Heritage site) as one of the many demon legends of this area.

Places where you can meet Tagamaru!AR Spot Introduction


These cliffs are designated a World Heritage site and a National Natural Monument and Place of Scenic Beauty. This strangely-shaped, one-of-a-kind rock formation was created by repeated abrupt land uplifts and wind and sea erosion. These cliffs were Tagamaru's stronghold, and you can imagine him watching over the safety of Kumano from this spectacular vantage point.


QR code locations

Onigajo Center
1835-7 Kinomoto Town, Kumano City, Mie Prefecture
(Near the entrance to the center)

Access to Onigajo Center

Public transportation

  • About a 20-minute walk from JR Odomari Station
  • From the Kumanoshi-eki-mae bus stop outside JR Kumanoshi Station, take the Mie Kotsu bus and get off at the Onigajo-higashiguchi bus stop (Onigajo Center is about a 3-minute walk the bus stop).

By car

  • (From Owase) Drive from the Kumano-Odomari Interchange along National Route 42 and turn left at the T-junction. The Onigajo Center is immediately after the turn.
  • (From Shingu) Drive along National Route 42. The Onigajo Center is immediately after you exit the Onigajo Tunnel.

Links to related information