Mount Shindake erupted at 12:24 p.m. local time, sending 33 of the island’s 135 full-time residents into emergency shelters.
The eruption lasted about 10 minutes and caused a cloud of superheated ash and vapor to cascade down the volcano’s Shindake crater.
But there were no reports of damage or injures due to the volcanic debris.
The volcano produced similarly brief eruptions in 1973, 1974, 1976 and 1980.
Kuchino-Erabu is a remote island near the coast of southern Japan's much larger Kyushu Island.
It is located in the south of Kagoshima Prefecture and is about 8 miles west of Yakushima.