Mount Mihara

Mount Mihara (三原山, Mihara-yama) is an active volcano on the Japanese isle of Izu Ōshima. Although the volcano is predominantly basaltic, major eruptions have occurred at intervals of 100–150 years.[1]

Mount Mihara
Izu-Oshima-IMG 4759.jpg
Volcanic peak of Mount Mihara
Highest point
Elevation764 m (2,507 ft)
Coordinates34°43′28″N 139°23′41″E / 34.72444°N 139.39472°E / 34.72444; 139.39472Coordinates: 34°43′28″N 139°23′41″E / 34.72444°N 139.39472°E / 34.72444; 139.39472
Mount Mihara is located in Japan
Mount Mihara
Mount Mihara
Mountain typeStratovolcano with summit caldera.
Last eruptionOctober 1990

Mount Mihara's major eruption in 1986 saw lava fountains up to 1.6 kilometres (1.0 mi) high. The eruption had a Volcanic Explosivity Index of 3, and involved a central vent eruption, radial fissure eruption, explosive eruption, lava flows, and a lava lake eruption. There was also a 16 km high subplinian plume. All of the island's 12,000 inhabitants were evacuated by dozens of vessels consisting of both the military and civilian volunteers.[2]

The most recent eruption was in 1990.[2]

Mihara in popular cultureEdit

Izu Ōshima

In the realm of fiction, Mount Mihara was the place where the Japanese government imprisoned Godzilla in the movie The Return of Godzilla. Five years later, in the sequel Godzilla vs. Biollante, bombs placed on Mt. Mihara go off and release Godzilla from his fiery tomb.

In the novel Ring by Koji Suzuki and its subsequent film adaption, Shizuko Yamamura, the mother of Sadako, predicted that Mount Mihara would someday erupt using her psychic abilities. After a failed psychic demonstration which resulted in Sadako psychically murdering a reporter, Shizuko became depressed and ultimately insane and committed suicide by leaping into the crater of Mount Mihara.

Mount Mihara summit


From a vantage point near the top of the cone it was once possible to leap into the crater. As a result, the volcano became a popular venue for suicides. Beginning in the 1920s, several suicides occurred in the volcano every week; more than six hundred people jumped in 1936. Authorities eventually erected a fence around the base of the structure to curb the number of suicides.[3]


  • Night Falls Fast: Understanding Suicide by Kay Redfield Jamison, Vintage Books 2000


  1. ^ "Global Volcanism Program - Izu-Oshima".
  2. ^ a b "Global Volcanism Program - Izu-Oshima".
  3. ^ "Japan's 'Suicide Island' Popular". Reading Eagle. Associated Press. April 14, 1937. Retrieved September 13, 2014.

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