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Miyoshi, Japan

Peeing Boy of Iya Valley

A statue erected on an infamous cliff where young boys would hold dangerous "pee offs" to prove their mettle. 

The Iya Valley is a majestic, secluded, dramatic area in western Tokushima featuring lofty peaks towering above a serpentine river winding through the valley floor far below. One of the most dangerous spots in this beautiful but treacherous landscape is Nana Magari (“Seven Curves”), a small, accessible cliff that ends in a sheer drop of 200 meters. It is, in other words, a place where only the bravest would dare to pee.

As the old tale goes, travelers and local children would climb up to Nana Magari to relieve themselves, thereby demonstrating their daring to anyone who cared to watch. At such a breathtaking height, in such a perilous position, a cool head and steady feet meant the difference between satisfaction and sudden death.

Today, the precipice of the cliff is graced by a statue of a young boy peeing off into the dizzying remoteness below. It is rumored to be built with the intention of deterring further “pee offs” by young local daredevils. Thus the Peeing Boy of Iya Valley (祖谷渓の小便小僧) has become a symbol of courage in local folklore.

Know Before You Go

50 minutes by car from JR Awa-Ikeda Station
1 hour 45 minutes by car from JR Tokushima Station

Contributed by
LyneD
Edited by