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    16 local residents participate in Benzaiten Shrine cleanup in Asamushi and Yunoshima, Aomori

    16 local residents participate in Benzaiten Shrine cleanup in Asamushi and Yunoshima, Aomori

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    On March 24th, the ``Yunoshima Love Association'', a voluntary organization in Asamushi, Aomori, conducted a cleanup at Asamushi/Yunoshima Benzaiten Shrine (Asamushi, Aomori City) in preparation for the annual festival to be held on April 7th.

    Yunoshima is a conical island with an altitude of 132 meters located approximately 800 meters offshore from the ferry terminal (Asamushi Hotarutani) near the roadside station Asamushi Onsen. Yunoshima, where Benzaiten Shrine is located, is also an object of worship for the promotion and development of Asamushi.

    Sixteen people participated in the cleanup, including members of the association, members of the Asamushi Neighborhood Association, and local residents. From the ferry terminal, we took a boat to the island in three parts. The weather is clear and the temperature is 12 degrees. The temperature was about 5 degrees higher than the average high temperature.

    Dead leaves and broken tree branches were piled up around the 96 steps leading to Benzaiten Shrine, located halfway up the island, and around the worship hall and main shrine. Participants worked for about an hour, collecting dead leaves and branches with brooms and bare hands, and sweeping and wiping the inside of the shrine. Some participants were seen taking off their winter gear and wiping off their sweat as they worked.

    After cleaning, the participants enjoyed walking around the island and collecting funori (funori) that grows on the rocks along the coast.

    A woman in her 40s who participated from Aomori City said, ``I'm grateful that I was able to help clean up the shrine.I'm glad that Benzaiten was happy.The weather was forecast to rain a few days ago, but I'm also glad that we were blessed with good weather.'' I was moved by the beauty of the blue sky and blue sea," he says with a smile.

    Shinji Sakurada, chairman of the association and chief priest of Yunoshima Benzaiten Shrine, was also in charge of driving the boat this time. Chairman Sakurada said, ``I'm glad that the event ended safely despite the clear skies.I'm grateful to everyone who participated.In the future, I would like to increase the number of young members and actively plan festivals and other events. I want to create many opportunities to visit the island and join hands with Benzaiten."

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