Daitō Islands

The Daitō Islands (大東諸島 Daitō-shotō) are an archipelago consisting of three isolated coral islands in the Philippine Sea southeast of Okinawa. The islands have a total area of 44.427 square kilometres (17.153 sq mi) and a population of 2,107.[1]

Administratively, the whole group belongs to Shimajiri District of Okinawa Prefecture, and is divided between the villages of Minamidaitō and Kitadaitō, with uninhabited Okidaitōjima island administered as part of Kitadaitō municipality, although physically located closer to Minamidaitōjima.

Daitō Islands
Native name:
Daitō Shotō

Nickname: Ufuagari
Daito islands en
Map of the Daitō Islands
Daitō Islands is located in Ryukyu Islands
Daitō Islands
Daitō Islands
Coordinates25°50′34″N 131°14′26″E / 25.84278°N 131.24056°E
Adjacent bodies of waterPhilippine Sea
Total islands3
Area44.427 km2 (17.153 sq mi)
RegionKyūshū / Ryukyu Islands
Population2,107[1] (2010)
Pop. density45.83 /km2 (118.7 /sq mi)
Ethnic groupsJapanese


Kita, minami, and oki means, respectively, "north", "south", and "offshore" while daitō means "great east".


These islands have long been known in Okinawa as Ufuagari (“the Great East”).[2][3] The islands were first sighted by the Spanish navigator Bernardo de la Torre on 25 September 1543 (Okidaitōjima) and a few days later still in September (Minamidaitōjima and Kitadaitōjima), during his abortive attempt to reach New Spain from the Philippines with the San Juan de Letran.[4] They were visited later by European explorers of various nations, and were commonly known as the Borodino Islands after a Russian vessel surveyed them in 1820.

The islands remained uninhabited until formally claimed by the Empire of Japan in 1885. In 1900, a team of pioneers from Hachijōjima, one of the Izu Islands located 287 kilometres (178 mi) south of Tokyo led by Tamaoki Han'emon (1838 – 1910), started a settlement on Minamidaitōjima, and began cultivating sugar cane. He subsequently led colonization efforts on Kitadaitōjima and Okidaitōjima. Those two islands had substantial deposits of guano, which was mined for phosphate-based fertilizer and gunpowder. By 1919, the population was more than 4000 people.

During World War II, Minamidaitōjima was repeatedly attacked by the United States Navy. After World War II all of the islands were occupied by the United States, and administered as part of the United States Civil Administration of the Ryukyu Islands from 1950. The islands were returned to Japan in 1972.


Photo Name Kanji Area
highest point
Peak Coordinates
Minami Daito Jima ISS002.jpg Minamidaitōjima 南大東島 30.57 1,442[1] 78 25°50′45″N 131°14′30″E / 25.84583°N 131.24167°E
Kita Daito Jima ISS.jpg Kitadaitōjima 北大東島 11.94 665[1] 75 25°57′N 131°18′E / 25.950°N 131.300°E
Okidaitojima mlit1978.jpg Okidaitōjima 沖大東島 1.15 24°28′N 131°11′E / 24.467°N 131.183°E


Phytocoenosis on east coast of Minamidaitō Island.
Ōike pond in Minamidaitō Village.

Being separated for more than 300 km from Ryukyu Islands, the nearest landmass, a unique and isolated ecosystem holding endemic species was established on Daitō Islands which doesn't include habu vipers naturally unlike many of Ryukyu Islands.[5] Lack of snakes caused introduced and invasive toads to flourish and rampant.[6] Three main islands of Kita, Minami, and Oki were originally covered by virgin forests, however human activities including military exercise severely damaged and resulted in disappearing of forests and extinction of endemic species most notably on Okidaitōjima.[7] Aside from eels, any fresh water fish and amphibians had not been recorded in pre-exploration periods. Entire archipelago excluding Okidaitōjima and smaller islands is listed as a Wildlife Protection Areas in Japan extending for 4,251 hectare with a special protection zone of 234 hectare.

Many of flora and fauna were named after the islands including Daito fruit bat, Daito buzzard, Daito Neolitsea, Daito scops owl (listed in the natural monument of Japan),[8] Daito Stag Beetle,[9] Daito Figulus binodulus (stag beetle), Daito Euterpnosia (cicada), Daito Little grebe, Daito Bulbul, Daito Mejiro, Daito Livistona,[10] Daito Excoecaria,[11] and Daito Crepidiastrum.[12] Several of these such as Daito bush warbler, Daito varied tit, and Daito wren became extinct.

Migratory and oceanic species that breed on the islands include such as Laysan albatross,[7] Black-winged stilt,[13] tuna, skipjack tuna, Japanese Spanish mackerel, marlin, manta rays, Japanese spiny lobster, sea turtles, dolphins and Humpback whales.[14] Among Ryukyu Islands, green pheasant is only present on Daitō Islands[13] followed by corals and coral fish that are rare in the rest of the archipelago most notably Chaetodon auripes which is occasionally regarded as endemic to the islands[15] and Hemitaurichthys thompsoni was only previously recorded in Bonin Islands.[16] Black Jacks and knifejaws that have become rarer in Japanese waters still occur as well.[17]

History of the European sightings of the Daitō Islands

  • First sighted by Spanish navigator Bernardo de la Torre in late September 1543. Charted as Abreojos (Keep your eyes open!) in the case of Okidaitōjima and Las dos hermanas (The two sisters), referring to Minamidaitōjima and Kitadaitōjima.
  • There is little doubt that the two small Islas sin Probecho, sighted by the Spanish navigator Pedro de Unamuno on 28 July 1587, are the Daitō Islands.
  • The island of “Amsterdam”, which can be found to the west of “Malabrigo” on the maps of Quast, Martini, Sanson, and Nolin, according to Dahlgren, appears for the first time on a map of 1635. It was still searched for unsuccessfully by Beechey in 1827 and is clearly a longitudinal misplacement of Rasa Island, i.e., Okidaitōjima.
  • The Breskens-Eylant discovered on the Dutch expedition of Maarten Gerritszoon Vries (in the Castricum) and Hendrik Corneliszoon Schaep (in the Breskens) on 8 May 1643 at 24°43 'N and 151°31' 30" E of Teneriffa ( 135°01 '30" E of Gr.), a low lying little island about c. 1.5 mylen (scarcely 2.8 km) long, is likewise identical with Isla Rasa, now Okidaitōjima (24°28' N; 131°11 'E). On Quast’s chart, which was also used on the Vries expedition, the island of "Malabrigo" is situated 21 mylen to the west of "Breskens-Eylant". In the Daghregister of the Batavia port authority for 14 December 1643, on Vries’ voyage back, this discovery is called "Malabriga".
  • On an 1817 London chart, at c. 24°45 N; 134°10 E, is the entry "I. Dolores 1773" which doubtless goes back to a sighting from a Spanish Manila galleon on her way from the Philippines to New Spain. We know that in 1773 the Spanish vessel Nuestra Señora de Consolación with Felipe Tompson as pilot sailed from Manila to California via New Guinea. On that voyage Helen Reef, Ngatik, and Oroluk in the Caroline Islands were sighted. Tompson’s southern route may not go against a sighting of the Daitos in the same year, but indicates that he initially tried to pursue the same course as his compatriot Francisco Antonio Maurelle seven years later, in 1780/81, a course which eventually was abandoned in favor of the traditional route.
  • On a trading voyage aboard the Felice from Whampoa (Canton) to the northwest coast of America, the British captain John Meares on 4 and 5 April 1788 sighted three islands, which were believed to be a new discovery and called the "Grampus Isles". Notwithstanding the considerable longitudinal difference of 14°30 and 14°55 30, respectively, these Grampus Islands were Rasa (Okidaitōjima) and the Borodinos (Minamidaitōjima and Kitadaitōjima).
  • Kendrick Island (24°35 N; 134°00 E) is a further longitudinal misplacement of Rasa Island. The earliest chart on which to find it dates from 1805. The name probably refers to either John Kendrick senior, who from the second half of 1789 until his death in December 1794 was busy in the maritime regions in question (further trading voyages of his vessel Lady Washington continued until 1796) or John Kendrick junior, who in July 1789 entered the Spanish service in Nootka Sound and as "Don Juan Kendrick", "was sent to Spain in 1796 … [as] a skillful pilot in the galleon service". As John Kendrick, Jr. was on the Northwest Coast for the fur trade (as a supercargo on the Eliza) in 1799, his active time in Spanish service, during which he could have encountered Kendrick Island, is between 1789 and 1796. A contingent sighting must have taken place between the second half of 1789 and 1796, either on a trading voyage to or from East Asia or on the Manila galleon route from the Philippines to New Spain (Mexico).
  • According to Krusenstern, who refers to an Arrowsmith chart, the Bishop Rocks, lying at 25°20 N; 131°15 E, were discovered in 1796 or 1799 (the data are inconsistent) by Captain Bishop in the Nautilus. However, 1797 was the only year the Nautilus was east of the Ryukyu Islands, on her way from Macao to Kamchatka (16 June — 25 August 1797). It must have been during that voyage — any time between 6 and 31 July — that these rocks, presumably from afar, were sighted, which can be identified from their position with Minamidaitōjima, if not both Minamidaitōjima and Kitadaitōjima as a whole were perceived as "rocks".
  • Another sighting of Rasa Island occurred on 8 May 1807, by César-Joseph Bourayne, commander of the French frigate Canonnière, on the way from Cavite to Acapulco. The supposed discovery, whose position was fixed at 24°30 N; 130°18 30 E, was christened "Ile de la Canonnière".
  • The Western names that stuck to the Daitō Islands for more than 150 years were given in 1815 and in 1820: in 1815 Okidaitōjima was re-sighted by the last Manila galleon, the Spanish frigate San Fernando de Magallanes, and was called "Isla Rasa", i.e. flat island; the position was fixed at 24°26 '40" N; 131°03' 46" E of Gr; and on 20 June 1820 (st. v.; 2 July 1820 st. n.) Minamidaitōjima and Kitadaitōjima were re-sighted by the Russian Navy’s Lieutenant Sachar Ivanovič Ponafidin, who called them Ostrova Borodino (Borodino Islands) after his ship of the Russian-American Company. The positions fixed by him were 25°50'N; 131°12 E for the southern and 26°02 N; 131°15 E for the northern island respectively.
  • "The brig Nile, of Boston, Captain Robert Bennet Forbes, in her passage from Canton to the Sandwich Islands, in August, 1825, passed two islands, the southernmost in lat. 25°42 N.; long. 131°13 E.; and the northern one in lat. 25°53 N.; long. 131°17 E. by good observations, and two chronometers", clearly a re-sighting of the Borodinos.

Further reading

  • National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGIA). Prostar Sailing Directions 2005 Japan Enroute. Prostar Publications (2005). ISBN 1577856511
  • 島のデータ : 北大東島 [Island data: Kitadaito Island] (in Japanese). Naha, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan: Okinawa Prefecture. 2005. Archived from the original on 2012-05-24. Retrieved 2013-06-14.
  • "Archived copy" 島のデータ : 南大東島 [Island data: Minamidaito Island] (in Japanese). Naha, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan: Okinawa Prefecture. 2005. Archived from the original on 2016-03-31. Retrieved 2013-06-14.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  • 島の紹介 [Introduction to the Islands] (in Japanese). Kitadaito, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan: Village of Kitadaito. 2012. Retrieved 2013-06-14.


  1. ^ a b c d 平成22年国勢調査 人口等基本集計(男女・年齢・配偶関係,世帯の構成,住居の状態など) 都道府県結果 47沖縄県 Okinawa 2010 census
  2. ^ 島の歴史 - 無人島時代 - (History of the island - Desert island times) from Kitadaito village official website. Retrieved on 2007-01-15.
  3. ^ 島の歴史 (History of the island) from Minamidaito village official website. Retrieved on 2007-01-15.
  4. ^ Welsch, Bernard (Jun 2004). "Was Marcus Island Discovered by Bernardo de la Torre in 1543?". The Journal of Pacific History. Taylor & Francis. Ltd. 39 (1): 109–122. doi:10.1080/00223340410001684886.
  5. ^ "南大東でヘビ初確認/荷物に紛れ来島"か "". Archived from the original on 2016-07-04. Retrieved 2017-01-27.
  6. ^ 沖縄に生息するカエル達の写真・鳴き声
  7. ^ a b 大東諸島の生物生態について
  8. ^ Study Group for Conservation of the Daito Scops Owl
  9. ^ 大東島の鳥たち
  10. ^ ダイトウビロウ(大東尾籠)
  11. ^ ダイトウセイシボク(大東青紫木)
  12. ^ ダイトウワダン(大東わだん)- Crepidiastrum lanceolatum var. daitoense
  13. ^ a b 島の暮し - 島の動物
  14. ^ 琉球新報, 1997年, 南大東島沖にザトウクジラ
  15. ^ 島の暮し - 島の生物
  16. ^ 6-1-5 大東諸島
  17. ^ 南大東島の伝統行事 南大東島の豊年祭 - 日本の郷文化 - 南大東島名物 スキューバダイビング・透明度100mの海
1971 Okinawa Reversion Agreement

The Okinawa Reversion Agreement (Japanese: 沖縄返還協定, Hepburn: Okinawahenkan kyōtei) was an agreement between the Japan and the United States in which the United States relinquished in favor of Japan all rights and interests under Article III of the Treaty of San Francisco obtained as a result of the Pacific War, thus returning the Okinawa Prefecture to Japanese sovereignty. The document was signed simultaneously in Washington, D.C. and Tokyo on June 17, 1971, by William P. Rogers on behalf of President Richard Nixon and Kiichi Aichi on behalf of Prime Minister Eisaku Satō. The document was not ratified in Japan until November 24, 1971, by the National Diet.

Borodino (disambiguation)

Borodino refers to the 1812 Battle of Borodino.

Borodino may also refer to:

PlacesBorodino Urban Okrug, a municipal formation which the krai town of Borodino in Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia is incorporated as

Borodino, Russia, several inhabited localities in Russia

Borodino, Ukraine, an urban-type settlement in Ukraine

Borodino, New York, a hamlet in the United States

Borodino Islands, former name of Daitō Islands in Japan

Borodino Island, Russian name of Smith Island, South Shetland IslandsShipsBorodino-class battleship, a class of Russian pre-dreadnought battleships

Russian battleship Borodino, lead ship of the class

Borodino-class battlecruiser, a class of Russian battlecruisers launched during World War I but never completed

Borodino-class motorship, a class of Russian river passenger ships

Borodino (ship) - one of several merchant vessels by that nameOtherBattle at Borodino Field, a 1941 battle

Borodino meteorite, a meteorite that fell near Borodino, Russia, in 1812

Borodino (poem), a poem by Mikhail Lermontov

3544 Borodino, a main-belt asteroid

Camponotus daitoensis

Camponotus daitoensis (ダイトウオオアリ, Daitō Ōari)

is a species of carpenter ant, endemic to the Daitō Islands, Japan. The species make nests in trees.


Daitō may refer to:

Daitō Islands, Okinawa

Daitō, Osaka, a city

Daitō (long sword)

A tahōtō whose base measures 5x5 ken

An alternate reading of the 84-stroke Japanese character Taito (kanji)

Toshiro Yoshiaki, an eventually deceased character in Ready Player One whose OASIS persona is Daito.

Former name of Daejeon during Japanese colonialism


Gagari may refer to:

Daitō Islands, for which Gagari is an alternate name

The inhabitants of Gagra, in Abkhazia, Georgia

Hachijō language

The small group of Hachijō or Hachijōjima dialects are the most divergent form of Japanese or form an independent fourth branch of Japonic. They are spoken on the southern Izu Islands south of Tokyo, Hachijō Island and the smaller Aogashima, as well as on the Daitō Islands of Okinawa Prefecture, which were settled from Hachijō in the Meiji period. Based on the criterion of mutual intelligibility, Hachijō may be considered a distinct Japonic language.

Hachijō dialects retain ancient Eastern Japanese features, as recorded in the 8th-century Man'yōshū. There are also lexical similarities with the dialects of Kyushu and even the Ryukyuan languages; it is not clear if these indicate the southern Izu islands were settled from that region, if they are loans brought by sailors traveling among the southern islands, or if they might be independent retentions of Old Japanese.

Japan-United States Friendship Act of 1975

Japan-United States Friendship Act of 1975 seek to establish a cooperative peacetime friendship through the exchange of artistic and cultural endowments. The United States statute is a declaration stating a Japan-United States friendship will provide a global model partnership leading to future peace, prosperity, and security in Asia. The Act of Congress acknowledges the 1971 Okinawa Reversion Agreement relinquishing United States authority of the Okinawa Prefecture better known as the Daitō Islands and Ryukyu Islands. The Act created the Japan-United States Friendship Trust Fund and Japan-United States Friendship Commission developing programs for the artistic and cultural exchanges between America and Japan.

The S. 824 legislation was passed by the 94th United States Congressional session and enacted into law by the 38th President of the United States Gerald Ford on October 20, 1975.

Kitadaito Airport

Kitadaitō Airport (北大東空港, Kitadaitō Kūkō, (IATA: KTD, ICAO: RORK)) is located on the island of Kitadaitōjima in the village of Kitadaitō, Shimajiri District, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan.

The prefecture operates the airport, which is classified as a third class airport.

Only a round flight from Naha, to Kitadaitō and Minami Daito Airport, back to Naha is operated every day. The route differs on the day of the week. Flight from Kitadaitō to Minamidaitō is the shortest flight in Japan, costs JPY¥7,600, and is only 12 km (7.5 mi) long, takes 3 minutes in the air.Kitadaito Airport was opened in 1971 as an emergency 760 meter airstrip, constructed of crushed coral by the United States Civil Administration of the Ryukyu Islands. The runway was paved and extended to 800 meters in 1978, when scheduled passenger services commenced. The runway was extended to 1500 meters in 1997. At present, there is only one scheduled flight per day.

Kitadaitō, Okinawa

Kitadaitō (北大東村, Kitadaitō-son) is a village consisting of the islands of Kitadaitōjima and Okidaitōjima of Shimajiri District, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan.

As of October 2016, the village has an estimated population of 615 and a density of 47 persons per km². The total area is 13.10 km². All of the inhabitants live on Kitadaitōjima.


Kitadaitōjima (北大東島), also spelled as Kita Daitō, Kita-Daitō-shima, and Kitadaitō, is the northernmost island in the Daitō Islands group, located in the Philippine Sea southeast of Okinawa, Japan. It is administered as part of the village of Kitadaitō, Shimajiri District, Okinawa. The island is entirely cultivated for agriculture, although it lacks freshwater sources. The island has no beaches and harbor but has an airport (Kitadaito Airport) ( airport code "KTD") for local flights.

List of islands by name (K)

This article features a list of islands sorted by their name beginning with the letter K.

List of islands by name (O)

This article features a list of islands sorted by their name beginning with the letter O.

List of islands in the East China Sea

Islands in the East China Sea include:

Matsu Islands (29.61 km²)

Peikan (Beigan)

Kaoteng (Gaodeng)

Nankan (Nangan)

Tungyin (Dongyin)

Hsiyin (Xiyin)

Liang Island

Chukuang (Jyuguang)

Tungchu (Dongjyu, Dongquan)

Hsichu (Xijyu, Xiquan)


Ryukyu Islands (4,597.68 km²—Daitō Islands excluded)

Satsunan Islands

Ōsumi Islands:

Tanegashima, Yaku, Kuchinoerabu, Mageshima

Takeshima, Iōjima, Kuroshima

Tokara Islands: Kuchinoshima, Nakanoshima, Gajajima, Suwanosejima, Akusekijima, Tairajima, Kodakarajima, Takarajima

Amami Islands: Amami Ōshima, Kikaijima, Kakeromajima, Yoroshima, Ukeshima, Tokunoshima, Okinoerabujima, Yoronjima


Okinawa Islands: Okinawa Island, Kume, Iheya, Izena, Aguni, Ie (Iejima), Iwo Tori Shima (Iōtorishima)

Kerama Islands: Tokashiki, Zamami, Aka, Geruma

Sakishima Islands

Miyako Islands: Miyakojima, Ikema, Ōgami, Irabu, Shimoji, Kurima, Minna, Tarama

Yaeyama Islands: Iriomote, Ishigaki, Taketomi, Kohama, Kuroshima, Aragusuku, Hatoma, Yubujima, Hateruma, Yonaguni

Senkaku Islands (7 km²)

Uotsurijima, Kuba Jima, Taisho Jima, Kita Kojima, Minami Kojima, Oki-no-Kita-Iwa, Oki-no-Minami-Iwa, Tobise

Zhoushan Archipelago (1,440.12 km²)

Zhoushan Island

Daishan Island

Liuheng Island

Jintang Island

Zhujiajian Island

Qushan Island

Mount Putuo

Jeju Island (1,849 km²)


Pengjia Islet (1.14 km²)Total land area: 7,924.55 square kilometres

Minami-Daito Airport

Minamidaito Airport (南大東空港, Minamidaitō Kūkō, (IATA: MMD, ICAO: ROMD)) is an airport in Minamidaitō, Shimajiri District, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan.

The prefecture operates the airport, which is classified as a third class airport.

Only a round flight from Naha, to Minami-Daito and Kitadaitō, back to Naha is operated every day. The route differs on the day of the week. Flight from Kitadaito to Minamidaitō is the shortest flight in Japan, costs JPY¥7,600, and is only 12 km (7.5 mi) long, takes 3 minutes in the air.

Minamidaitō, Okinawa

Minamidaitō (南大東村, Minamidaitō-son) is a village located entirely on Minamidaitōjima in Shimajiri District, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. Minamidaitōjima is located approximately 360 kilometres (220 mi) east of Okinawa Island. Minamidaitō covers 30.7 square kilometres (11.9 sq mi).As of June 2013, the city had a population of 1,418 and a population density of 46.4 people per km².


Minamidaitōjima (南大東島), also spelt as Minami Daitō or Minami-Daitō, is the largest island in the Daitō Islands group southeast of Okinawa, Japan. It is administered as part of the village of Minamidaitō, Okinawa. Shimajiri District, Okinawa and has a population of 2,107. The island is entirely cultivated for agriculture, although it lacks freshwater sources. The island has no beaches or harbor, and cargo must be loaded/offloaded by crane; however the island has an airport Minami Daito Airport ( airport code "KTD").


Okidaitōjima (沖大東島), also spelled as Oki Daitō Island or Oki-Daitō or Oki-no-Daitō, previously known as Rasa Island (ラサ島, Rasa-tō), is an abandoned island in the Daitō Islands group southeast of Okinawa, Japan. It is administered as part of the village of Kitadaitō, Shimajiri District, Okinawa.

Ryukyu Islands

The Ryukyu Islands (琉球諸島, Ryūkyū-shotō), also known as the Nansei Islands (南西諸島, Nansei-shotō, lit. "Southwest Islands") or the Ryukyu Arc (琉球弧, Ryūkyū-ko), are a chain of Japanese islands that stretch southwest from Kyushu to Taiwan: the Ōsumi, Tokara, Amami, Okinawa, and Sakishima Islands (further divided into the Miyako and Yaeyama Islands), with Yonaguni the westernmost. The larger are mostly high islands and the smaller mostly coral. The largest is Okinawa Island.

The climate of the islands ranges from humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa) in the north to tropical rainforest climate (Köppen climate classification Af) in the south. Precipitation is very high and is affected by the rainy season and typhoons. Except the outlying Daitō Islands, the island chain has two major geologic boundaries, the Tokara Strait (between the Tokara and Amami Islands) and the Kerama Gap (between the Okinawa and Miyako Islands). The islands beyond the Tokara Strait are characterized by their coral reefs.

The Ōsumi and Tokara Islands, the northernmost of the islands, fall under the cultural sphere of the Kyushu region of Japan; the people are ethnically Japanese and speak a variation of the Kagoshima dialect of Japanese. The Amami, Okinawa, Miyako, and Yaeyama Islands have a native population collectively called the Ryukyuan people, named for the former Ryukyu Kingdom that ruled them. The varied Ryukyuan languages are traditionally spoken on these islands, and the major islands have their own distinct languages. In modern times, the Japanese language is the primary language of the islands, with the Okinawan Japanese dialect prevalently spoken. The outlying Daitō Islands were uninhabited until the Meiji period, when their development was started mainly by people from the Izu Islands south of Tokyo, with the people there speaking the Hachijō language.

Administratively, the islands are divided into Kagoshima Prefecture (specifically the islands administered by Kagoshima District, Kumage Subprefecture/District, and Ōshima Subprefecture/District) in the north and Okinawa Prefecture in the south, with the divide between the Amami and Okinawa Islands, with the Daitō Islands part of Okinawa Prefecture. The northern (Kagoshima) islands are collectively called the Satsunan Islands, while the southern part of the chain (Okinawa Prefecture) are called the Ryukyu Islands in Chinese.

Shimajiri District, Okinawa

Shimajiri District (島尻郡, Shimajiri-gun, Okinawan: Shimajiri) is a district located in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. Modern translation of Shimajiri means "Butt of the island" which may refer to its southerly position on the island of Okinawa. Compare this to Kunigami District, Okinawa.

However, there are hundreds of geographic references throughout Japan and even into the northern Kuriles using "shiri", to approximate the Ainu word shir, meaning island. Despite Okinawa being so far south, historically Jōmon culture was dominant as on the mainland, and words likely have survived, though their original meanings have long been lost or modified.

As of 2003, the district has an estimated population of 131,670 and the density of 464.36 persons per km². The total area is 283.55 km².

The district also includes Kume Island, the Kerama Islands, the Aguni Islands, and the Daitō Islands.


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