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Encyclopedia > Ryukyu Islands
Location of Ryukyu Islands

The Ryukyu Islands, in Japanese called the Nansei Islands (南西諸島 Nansei-shotō?) are a chain of Japanese islands in the western Pacific Ocean at the eastern limit of the East China Sea. They stretch southwest from the island of Kyūshū to Taiwan. The islands are administratively divided into Satsunan Islands to the north, belonging to Kagoshima Prefecture, and Ryukyu Shotō to the south, belonging to Okinawa Prefecture, Japan (Yoron Island is the southernmost island of the Satsunan Islands). The largest of the islands is Okinawa Island. Map of East China Sea. ... Map of East China Sea. ... The four main islands of Japan are: Hokkaido Honshu Kyushu Shikoku Okinawa is the fifth largest island except the disputed northern territories, and is the smallest island which has a prefectural capital. ... The East China Sea is a marginal sea and part of the Pacific Ocean. ... KyÅ«shÅ« region of Japan and the current prefectures on KyÅ«shÅ« island KyÅ«shÅ« ), literally Nine Provinces, is the third largest island of Japan and most southerly and westerly of the four main islands. ... Kagoshima Prefecture ) is located on KyÅ«shÅ« island, Japan. ... “Okinawa” redirects here. ... Okinawa Island (沖縄本島 Okinawa-hontō, the main island of Okinawa) is the largest of the Ryukyu Islands at the edge of the East China Sea, helping to define the seas boundary with the open Pacific Ocean. ...


The islands have a subtropical climate with warm winters and hot summers. Precipitation is very high, and is affected by the rainy season and typhoons. Subtropical (or semitropical) areas are those adjacent to the tropics, usually roughly defined as the ranges 23. ... Cyclone Catarina, a rare South Atlantic tropical cyclone viewed from the International Space Station on March 26, 2004. ...


The archipelago is home to the Ryukyuan languages. The Ryukyuan languages are spoken in the Ryūkyū Islands and make up a subfamily of the Japonic family. ...

Contents

Naming

Japanese

In Japanese, the definition of the Ryūkyū Shotō (琉球諸島?)[1], literally meaning "Ryukyu Islands", is somewhat different from the English definition[2] of the word. In Japanese, the term Ryūkyū Shotō is used to refer to the part of the Nansei Islands which is in Okinawa Prefecture (the southern half), as opposed to islands of the same group located in Kagoshima Prefecture (the northern half). “Okinawa” redirects here. ... Kagoshima Prefecture ) is located on KyÅ«shÅ« island, Japan. ...


Modern usage of the word Ryūkyū (琉球?) in Japanese, however, is usually replaced by the word Okinawa (沖縄?), which is considered its synonym.[3] And when refering to the region in the broad (and imprecise) sense, the Nansei Islands is sometimes referred to as Amami-Okinawa Chihō (奄美・沖縄地方?), literally "Amami-Okinawa Region", or variations thereof.[4] For example, the Japanese train timetables JR Jikokuhyō (JR時刻表?) uses variations of Nansei Shotō, Okinawa, Amami, etc., but completely avoids using the word Ryūkyū.[5]


English

In English, until well into the late 1800s (Meiji period in Japan), the word "Ryukyu" was spelled Luchu, Loo-choo, or Lewchew.[6] The Meiji period ) denotes the 45-year reign of Emperor Meiji, running from 8 September 1868 (in the Gregorian calendar, 23 October 1868) to 30 July 1912. ...


History

Ryukyuan flag from 1875 through 1879
Ryukyuan flag until 1875

The Ryukyu Kingdom was once an independent kingdom occupying the island chain, from Yonaguni Island in the southwest to Amami Oshima in the north. In 1372, it obtained 藩国(Kingdom with soverignity owned by China) status to the China, a status which Chosun or Korea has been maintaining. Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... 1875 (MDCCCLXXV) was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... 1879 (MDCCCLXXIX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... 1875 (MDCCCLXXV) was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... This article is about the history of the Ryukyu Island chain southwest of the main islands of Japan. ... The main building of Shuri Castle The Ryukyu Kingdom was an independent kingdom which ruled most of the Ryukyu Islands from the 14th century to the 19th century. ... Yonaguni Yonaguni ) is the name of the westernmost island of Japan, as well as the language spoken there (see Yonaguni language). ... Amami ÅŒshima is one of the Ryukyu Islands (also known as Nansei Islands). ... In this year, the city of Aachen, Germany begins adding a Roman numeral Anno Domini date to a few of its coins. ... Joseon (Cháoxiǎn (朝鲜) in Chinese; Chosen (朝鮮) in Japanese) is a name for Korea, as used in the following cases: As part of the name of several ancient kingdoms (including Gojoseon, Gija Joseon, and Wiman Joseon); During most of the Joseon Dynasty, when the country... Korea (Korean: 한국 in South Korea or ì¡°ì„  in North Korea, see below) is a geographic area, civilization, and former state situated on the Korean Peninsula in East Asia. ...


In 1609, Shimazu Tadatsune, Lord of Satsuma, invaded the Ryūkyū Kingdom with a fleet of 13 junks and 2,500 samurai, thereby establishing suzerainty over the islands. They faced little opposition from the Ryukyuans, who lacked any significant military capabilities, and who were ordered by King Shō Nei to surrender peacefully rather than suffer the loss of precious lives.[7] After that, the kings of the Ryukyus paid tribute to the Japanese shogun as well as the Chinese emperor. Shimazu Tadatsune (島津忠恒; November 27, 1576-April 7, 1638) was the third son of Shimazu Yoshihiro and the first ruler of Satsuma han. ... Satsuma (薩摩国; -no Kuni) was an old province of Japan that is now the western half of Kagoshima prefecture on the island of Kyushu. ... Japanese samurai in armour, 1860s. ... Suzerainty refers to a situation in which a region or people is a tributary to a more powerful entity which allows the tributary some limited domestic autonomy but controls its foreign affairs. ... Shō Nei, painted by Shō Genko (1748-1841) in 1796. ... Minamoto no Yoritomo, the first shogun of the Kamakura shogunate Shōgun )   is supreme general of the samurai,a military rank and historical title in Japan. ... The king or wang (王 wang2) was the Chinese head of state from the Zhou to Qin dynasties. ...


In 1879, the Meiji government announced the annexation of the Ryukyus. The messengers of the Ryukyuan king had knelt outside the Chinese Prime Minister's Yamen in Beijing for three days, pleading to not to be seperated from China. However, China at that time was weakened itself from the invasions of the Western colonial powers and Japan; therefore, Ryukyu's request to send military protection was not granted. China, however, diplomatically objected and the former President of the United States Ulysses S. Grant was asked to arbitrate. He decided that Japan's claim to the islands was stronger and ruled in Japan's favor. The claims of the indigenous Ryukyuans to the land were ignored. In the process of annexation, the Japanese military assassinated Ryukyu politicians and civilians who opposed the takeover. Ryukyu Kingdom became part of its northern neighbor, the Satsuma han. And the Japanese brutal rule wiped out rebellions. Later, it became its own prefecture, Okinawa Prefecture, when the prefectural system was adopted nationwide. Compulsory Japanese education was enforced on the Ryukyu children, whereby they were taught Japanese language, culture and identity, while strictly forbidden the use of their native language. 1879 (MDCCCLXXIX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... Emperor Mutsuhito Mutsuhito or Mitsuhito (睦仁), the Meiji Emperor (明治天皇, literally wise ruling heaven emperor) (3 November 1852–30 July 1912) was the 122nd Emperor of Japan. ... This article is about the history of the Ryukyu Island chain southwest of the main islands of Japan. ... A yámen (Chinese characters: 衙門) is any local bureaucrats, or mandarins, office and residence of the Chinese Empire. ... Ulysses S. Grant[2] (born Hiram Ulysses Grant, April 27, 1822 – July 23, 1885) was an American general and the 18th President of the United States (1869–1877). ... Occurring in 1871, the abolition of the han system and establishment of the prefecture system (廃藩置県, haihan-chiken; hai abolish + han + chi set down + ken prefecture) was an act to replace the traditional han system and introduce new local government. ...


Military activity on the island, before and during WWII, especially the Battle of Okinawa, had a devastating effect on the Okinawan people. A huge loss of civilian life left many feeling that they were being mistreated by both the Japanese and American military. Okinawa remains the poorest prefecture in Japan to this day. Combatants United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand Empire of Japan Commanders Simon B. Buckner†, Joseph W. Stilwell, Ray Spruance Mitsuru Ushijima† Isamu Cho† Strength 548,000 regulars, 1300 ships,  ? aircraft 100,000 regulars and militia,  ? ships,  ? aircraft Casualties 12,513 dead or missing, 38,916 wounded, 33,096...


US military control over Okinawa began in 1945 with the Okinawa Advisory Council. This organization eventually became the government of the Ryukyu Islands which existed from 1952 to 1972. The US was granted control over Ryukyu Islands south of 29°N latitude amongst other Pacific islands, under the San Francisco Peace Treaty between the Allied Powers and Japan. Sovereignty was returned to Japan in 1972. The Government of the Ryukyu Islands(ja琉球政府) or U.S. Military government of the Ryukyu Islands(ja 琉球軍政府) is the government in Okinawa, Japan after the World War II until 1972. ... Prime Minister Yoshida Shigeru gives a speech on reconciliation and rapport ) at the San Francisco Peace conference. ... Sovereignty is the exclusive right to exercise supreme political (e. ...


Today, there are a number of issues arising from Ryukyuan history. Some Ryukyuans and some Japanese feel that people from the Ryukyus are not "real" Japanese[citation needed]. Some natives of the Ryukyus claim that the central government is discriminating against the islanders by allowing so many American soldiers to be stationed on bases in Okinawa with a minimal presence on the mainland. This article is about the prefecture. ...


Many popular singers and musical groups come from the Ryukyus. These include (among many others) the pop group Begin (ビギン), singers Amuro Namie and Gackt, as well as the group Da Pump. See also Ryukyuan songs. BEGIN (ビギン) is a popular three-man pop group from Ishigaki Island (石垣島), Okinawa, Japan. ... A publicity shot from 2004 Namie Amuro (安室 奈美恵 Amuro Namie or あむろ.なみえ, September 20, 1977 - ) is a Japanese pop singer and Japanese idol originally from Okinawa Prefecture. ... Gackt Camui ) , but most often written in Latin alphabet) is a Japanese songwriter, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist. ... Da pump (ダパンプ)) is a popular Japanese singing and dancing hiphop group. ... List of Ryukyuan songs: Tinsagu nu Hana Asadoya Yunta Shima nu Hito Futami Jouwa Ninjoubushi Tanchamee Jin Jin Hana Categories: Japan-related stubs ...


People

Main article: Ryukyuans

The Ryukyuans are known for their longevity. The Okinawa Centenarian Study attributes this phenomenon to a combination of diet, exercise, and lifestyle practices. Ryukyuan people (Japanese: 琉球民族) are the indigenous people of the Ryukyu Islands of Japan between the islands of Kyūshū and Taiwan. ... Ryukyuan people (Japanese: 琉球民族) are the indigenous people of the Ryukyu Islands of Japan between the islands of Kyūshū and Taiwan. ... Longevity is defined as long life or the length of a persons life (life expectancy). ...


Traditionally, the people of the Ryukyus speak a chain of languages related to Japanese as members of the Japonic language family. Since the latest Japanese invasion in 1879, Japanese has become the main language of public life on the Ryukyus, especially on Uchinā (Okinawa). Younger and middle-aged people tend not to speak a Ryukyuan language as well as Japanese, if at all. The Japonic languages or Japanese-Ryukyuan languages constitute a language family that is agreed to have descended from a common ancestral language known as Proto-Japonic or Proto-Japanese-Ryukyuan. ... Okinawa redirects here. ...


Ecology

Nansei Islands subtropical evergreen forests

The Ryukyu Islands are recognized by ecologists as a distinct subtropical moist broadleaf forest ecoregion. The flora and fauna of the islands have much in common with Taiwan, the Philippines, and Southeast Asia, and are part of the Indomalaya ecozone. Tropic wet forests in the World Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests, also known as tropical wet forests, are a tropical and subtropical forest biome. ... An ecoregion, sometimes called a bioregion, is a relatively large area of land or water that contains a geographically distinct assemblage of natural communities. ... Location of Southeast Asia Southeast Asia is a subregion of Asia. ... The Indomalaya Ecozone was previously called the Oriental region. ... An ecozone or biogeographic realm is the largest scale biogeographic division of the earths surface based on the historic and evolutionary distribution patterns of plants and animals. ...


Coral reefs

The coral reefs of the Ryukyus are one of the World Wildlife Fund's Global 200 ecoregions. The reefs are endangered by sedimentation and eutrophication, mostly a result of agriculture, as well as damage from fishing. Some of the biodiversity of a coral reef. ... Note: After losing a court case in 2002 on the use of the initials WWF, the organization previously known as the World Wrestling Federation has rebranded itself as World Wrestling Entertainment, or WWE. WWF - The Conservation Organization was formerly known as World Wildlife Fund and Worldwide Fund for Nature. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Sedimentation describes the motion of particles in solutions or suspensions in response to an external force such as gravity, centrifugal force or electric force. ... Eutrophication is caused by the increase of chemical nutrients, typically compounds containing nitrogen or phosphorus, in an ecosystem. ... Fishing is the activity of hunting for fish by hooking, trapping, or gathering. ...


Major islands

This list is based on present day Japanese geographic names:

Notes: The ÅŒsumi Archipelago is a group of islands in Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. ... Yoshinobu Launch Complex (© JAXA) in Tanegashima Tanegashima (Japanese: 種子島) is an island lying to the south of Kyushu, south Japan, and is part of the Kagoshima Prefecture. ... Yaku-sugi (Jomon-sugi) Yakushima (屋久島) is one of the islands of Japan. ... The Tokara Islands (吐噶喇列島 or トカラ列島, tokara rettō) is a group of islands in the northern part of the Nansei Islands (encompassing the Ryukyu islands), belonging to Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. ... Takarajima (宝島), literally treasure island, is one of the Tokara Islands, belonging to Kagoshima Prefecture. ... The Amami Islands amami shotō) are part of the Ryukyu Archipelago. ... Amami Oshima, Kagoshima Prefecture Amami ÅŒshima is one of the RyÅ«kyÅ« Islands (also known as Nansei Islands). ... Tokunoshima (徳之島町; -chou) is a town located in Oshima District, Kagoshima, Japan. ... Okinawa Islands (沖縄諸島 Okinawa Shotō) are a group of islands that belongs to Okinawa Prefecture. ... Okinawa Island (沖縄本島 Okinawa-hontō, the main island of Okinawa) is the largest of the Ryukyu Islands at the edge of the East China Sea, helping to define the seas boundary with the open Pacific Ocean. ... Kumejima (久米島町; -chou) is a town located in Shimajiri district, Okinawa, Japan. ... Ie-shima (伊江島 -island) is an island in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. ... The Kerama Retto consists of six islands grouped near one another and located about 30 km west of Naha, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. ... Daito Islands (大東諸島 Daitō Shotō) are three eastern islands of Okinawa Islands. ... Kita Daito, also written as Kita daitō, Kitadaitō and Kitadaito, is one of the Daito Islands in Japan. ... The Sakishima Islands (先島諸島 Sakishima shotō) are an island chain located at the south end of the Japanese Archipelago. ... Miyako-jima (宮古島) is an island in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. ... The Sakishima Islands (先島諸島 Sakishima shotō) are an island chain located at the south end of the Japanese Archipelago. ... Location of Bardejov District in the Nitra region Kurima is a village and municipality in Bardejov District in the PreÅ¡ov Region of north-east Slovakia. ... Tarama (多良間村; -son) is a village located in Miyako district, Okinawa, Japan. ... Tarama (多良間村; -son) is a village located in Miyako district, Okinawa, Japan. ... Map of the Yaeyama Islands The Yaeyama Islands (八重山諸島 Yaeyama-shotō) are an archipelago in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. ... Iriomote from space, August 1991 Iriomote (西表島 Iriomote-jima) is the largest of the Yaeyama Islands and the second largest in Okinawa Prefecture after Okinawa Island itself. ... Ishigaki (石垣市; -shi) is a city located in Okinawa, Japan. ... Taketomi (竹富町; -chō) is a town located in Yaeyama district, Okinawa, Japan. ... Hatoma, smallest of the Yaeyama Islands, barely 1 square kilometer in diameter. ... Hateruma (波照間島; Hateruma-jima) is an island in the Yaeyama District of Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. ... Yonaguni Yonaguni ) is the name of the westernmost island of Japan, as well as the language spoken there (see Yonaguni language). ... // Aerial view of Uotsuri-jima / Diaoyu-dao Kuba Jima (久場島) or Huangwei Yu (黃尾嶼 Yellow Tail) is located at has an area of 1. ... PRC is a common abbreviation for: Peoples Republic of China Palestinian Red Crescent Popular Resistance Committees This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... ROC, Roc, roc, R.O.C or R.o. ... “Diaoyutai” redirects here. ... Kuba Jima (久場島) or Huangwei Yu (黃尾嶼 Yellow Tail) is an island of the Senkaku Islands administered by Japan, but also claimed by the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (ROC/Taiwan). ... Chiwei Yu island (赤尾屿)(Red Tail island) is the eastmost island in Diaoyutai Islands,it is also the southmost territory of Peoples Republic of China or Republic of China。locates at 25°5354~25°5406N - 124°3409~124°3350 E , Total island area: 0. ... Kita Kojima or Beixiao Dao (北小島 Northern Islet) is an island of the Senkaku Islands administered by Japan, but also claimed by the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (ROC/Taiwan). ... Minami Kojima or Nanxiao Dao (南小島 Southern Islet) is an island of the Senkaku Islands administered by Japan, but also claimed by the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (ROC/Taiwan). ...

  • For some of the island names above, the suffix -jima, -shima, and -gashima can be interchanged, omitted, or appended. The suffix means "island." In general, the islands are listed from north to south where possible.
  • "Shotō" is replaced with "Islands" in the list except for Ryūkyū Shotō (琉球諸島), since the term "Ryukyu Islands" already exists in English. The Japanese term refers only to the islands that comprise Okinawa Prefecture, while the English term refers to the entire chain of islands between Kyūshū and Taiwan.
  • Ryūkyū Rettō (琉球列島) refers to what was once the territory of the former kingdom, which are the Amami Islands, Okinawa Islands, Miyako Islands, and Yaeyama Islands.

Kyūshū region of Japan and the current prefectures on Kyūshū island Kyūshū ), literally Nine Provinces, is the third largest island of Japan and most southerly and westerly of the four main islands. ...

See also

Pechin(Satunushi) The Pechin ) is the Okinawan/Ryukyuan equivalent of the Japanese Samurai. ... Ryukyuan people (Japanese: 琉球民族) are the indigenous people of the Ryukyu Islands of Japan between the islands of Kyūshū and Taiwan. ... This article is about the history of the Ryukyu Island chain southwest of the main islands of Japan. ... Ryukyuan religion is the indigenous belief system of the Uchinanchu people of Okinawa and the other Ryukyu Islands. ... Ryukyu Independence Party flag The Ryukyu independence movement (琉球独立運動) can refer to a number of different movements, in Okinawa Prefecture, in the rest of Japan, and abroad, emerging at different times and with different goals, in relation to the history of the Ryūkyū Islands. ... Ryukyu Independence Party flag. ...

Notes

  1. ^ Ryūkyū Shotō (りゅうきゅう‐しょとう【琉球諸島】). Daijisen dictionary / Yahoo Japan. Retrieved on 2007-05-04.
  2. ^ Ryukyu Islands. Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary. Retrieved on 2007-05-04.
  3. ^ Ryūkyū (りゅうきゅう〔リウキウ〕【琉球】). Daijisen dictionary / Yahoo Japan. Retrieved on 2007-05-06.
  4. ^ Radar AMeDAS Live: Amami-Okinawa Region (レーダーアメダス実況 奄美・沖縄地方). Weather Service Inc. (ウェザー・サービス株式会社). Retrieved on 2007-05-06.
  5. ^ "JR 時刻表 (JR Jikokuhyō)" (2007-02). 
  6. ^ (1895) The Geographical Journal. Royal Geographical Society (Great Britain). 
  7. ^ Kerr, George H. (2000). Okinawa: the History of an Island People. (revised ed.) Boston: Tuttle Publishing.

The Daijisen Great fountain/source of words) is a general-purpose Japanese dictionary published by Shogakukan in 1995 and 1998. ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the CE era. ... May 4 is the 124th day of the year (125th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Merriam-Webster, originally known as the G. & C. Merriam Company of Springfield, Massachusetts, is a United States company that publishes reference books, especially dictionaries that are descendants of Noah Websters An American Dictionary of the English Language (1828). ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the CE era. ... May 4 is the 124th day of the year (125th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The Daijisen Great fountain/source of words) is a general-purpose Japanese dictionary published by Shogakukan in 1995 and 1998. ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the CE era. ... May 6 is the 126th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (127th in leap years). ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the CE era. ... May 6 is the 126th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (127th in leap years). ...

External links

Coordinates: 26°19′58″N, 127°44′56″E Map of Earth showing lines of latitude (horizontally) and longitude (vertically), Eckert VI projection; large version (pdf, 1. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Ryukyu Islands - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (622 words)
The Ryukyu Islands (琉球列島 Ryukyu-rettō) or Nansei Islands (南西諸島 Nansei-shotō; "southwest islands"), are an island chain stretching southwestward from the island of Kyushu in Japan.
The Ryukyu Kingdom was once an independent kingdom occupying the island chain, from Yonaguni Island in the southwest to Amami Oshima in the north.
The Ryukyu Islands are recognized by ecologists as a distinct subtropical moist broadleaf forest ecoregion.
Ryukyu Islands - definition of Ryukyu Islands in Encyclopedia (291 words)
The Ryukyu Islands or Luchu Islands (南西諸島 Nansei-shotō or 琉球列島 Ryūkyū-rettō) are an island group between the islands of Kyushu and Taiwan.
The Ryukyu Kingdom was once an independent kingdom occupying most of the island chain, from Yonaguni Island in the southwest to Amami Oshima in the north.
Some natives of the Ryukyus claim that the central government is discriminating against the islanders by allowing so many American soldiers to be stationed on bases in Okinawa with a minimal presence on the mainland.
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