Ie Island (伊江島 Iejima, Okinawan: Ii shima), previously romanized in English as Ie Shima, is an island in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan, lying a few kilometers off the Motobu Peninsula on Okinawa Island.[1] The island measures 20 kilometres (12 mi) in circumference and covers 23 square kilometres (8.9 sq mi).[1] As of December 2012 the island had a population of 4,610.[2] Ie Village, which covers the entire Island, has a ferry connection with the town of Motobu on Okinawa Island.

Iejima is generally flat.[1] The most notable geographic feature is a peak called Mount Gusuku (or "Tatchuu" in Kunigami) at a height of 172 meters.[1] The mountain resembles a volcano but is actually an erosion artifact. Alternately called "Peanut Island," for its general shape and peanut crop, or "Flower Island," for its abundant flora and more sizeable crop, Iejima draws tourists by ferry, especially during late April when the Ie Lily Festival begins. The Youth Excursion Village accommodates campers for 400 yen a person and includes access to a good beach. The YYY Resort and Hotel located just east of the ferry port is available for those who do not wish to camp.

During World War II, American troops landed on Iejima in April 1945 as part of the Battle of Okinawa and there was heavy fighting from April 16 until the island was secured on April 21. U.S. journalist Ernie Pyle was killed during the battle. There is a monument dedicated to his memory on the southern part of the island. Every year on the weekend closest to his April 18 death there is a memorial service.

Ie Island
Native name:
Iejima (伊江島)
Ie Island, Okinawa gsi-20180219
Aerial view of Ie Island
Ie Island is located in Japan
Ie Island
Ie Island
Ie Island in the Ryukyu Islands
LocationEast China Sea
Coordinates26°42′58″N 127°47′25″E / 26.71611°N 127.79028°E
Area23 km2 (8.9 sq mi)[1]
Coastline22.4 km (13.92 mi)
Highest elevation172 m (564 ft)
Highest pointMount Gusuku
Population4,610 (2012)
Pop. density200 /km2 (500 /sq mi)
Okinawa Islands map
Ie Island (Iejima) lies to the northwest of the main island of Okinawa

Surrender of Japan

F4U VMF-314 battle damaged on Ie Shima 1945.jpeg
A damaged Vought F4U Corsair on Iejima, 1945

Iejima, then called Ie Shima by US military and media, was the major starting point for the Surrender of Japan in World War II. It was the home of the 413th Fighter Group which comprised the 1st, 21st and 34th Fighter Squadrons, the 345th Bombardment Group, consisting of the 498th, 499th, 500th and 501st Squadrons, along with the 548th and 549th Night Fighter Squadrons of the 7th Fighter Command. All three groups were stationed there toward the end of the war.

The surrender preparations started on August 17, 1945, with the flight of two Japanese Betty bombers to Iejima where the Japanese emissaries transferred to U.S. Army Air Force C-54s to complete their journey to Corregidor to meet with General Douglas MacArthur's staff. B-25 Mitchells of the 345th were assigned to escort the Japanese bombers from the Japanese mainland to Iejima, and P-38s were assigned the duty of top-cover. Japanese officials ordered the remaining Japanese Air Force to shoot down their own bombers, because they believed that honor required that Japan should fight to the very last person. Instead of flying directly to Iejima, the two Japanese planes flew northeast, toward the open ocean, to avoid their own fighters. One of the Japanese delegates aboard remarked, after looking through a bullet hole in the side of the plane, that a squadron of fighters was approaching and he thought that their surrender mission had failed. However, the squadron of fighters were U.S. P-38 Lightnings assigned as top-cover. The 345th had been directed to send two B-25s as escorts. However, fully aware of the difficulty in communication with the Japanese and correctly anticipating the possibility of necessary deviation from plans, the 345th had dispatched three flights of B-25s so as to bracket the enemy's proposed flight path. This proved to be excellent planning, as only the second of the three flights intercepted the Japanese and the top-cover, off-course and headed on a route that would not have brought them to Iejima. Operating under orders to come no nearer than 305 m (1,000 feet) to the Japanese planes, Major J.C. McClure found it impossible to keep the Japanese on the proper course flying abreast of them, so he pulled out well ahead of them to lead their formation. Seconds later he was surprised to find the Japanese tucked in tightly under his wings. To them it was the safest way to approach the island which had only days before been their target. The four planes arrived over Iejima in perfect show formation.

View from gusukuyama
View from the 172 meter Mount Gusuku mountain on the island

The Japanese emissaries continued on to the Philippines as planned, concluded the arrangements for the formal surrender scheduled to take place on September 2 in Tokyo Bay, and returned to Iejima on August 18. As the Bettys were taxiing into place to receive their passengers for the return trip to Tokyo, one of them ran off of the runway and broke its landing gear, leaving it unable to continue the trip that day. The Japanese delegation split, with the less important delegates staying on Iejima overnight as the damaged plane was repaired, while the operable aircraft proceeded that evening. For some unexplained reason, that plane ran out of fuel some 210 km (130 miles) from their destination and was ditched in shallow water. The emissaries waded ashore and arrived in Tokyo the next day.

Farmers' Movement

In 1955, the United States military embarked upon a wide-scale campaign to seize land from the farmers of Iejima. The campaign began in 1954 with a so-called survey project. After the island's farmers signed the papers, they realized that in fact they had agreed to their voluntary evacuation. In 1955, the American military landed on Iejima's southern beaches and seized the farmers' lands by force.[3]

Following this seizure, the residents of Iejima began a five decade campaign to oppose the American military. Led by Shoko Ahagon, they traveled throughout the Okinawan islands garnering support for their campaign. This Beggars' March took the islanders all over the prefecture where they were treated hospitably by their fellow Okinawans. However, when they returned to Iejima and started to farm their land once more, the American military razed their crops and arrested the islanders.[3]

In the late 1950s, many residents of Iejima resorted to collecting scrap metal from the military bombing range. This was dangerous work resulting in the deaths or disfigurement of local men. [3]


The United States military maintains a small "auxiliary landing strip" on Ie; this airstrip is now a military training facility run by the U.S. Marine Corps. There is a detachment of 12 US Marines which operates the range. The jobs include Operation Scheduler, Range Warden, Crash/Fire/Rescue, and Motor Transportation. The north-west corner of the island that contains a 1,500 m (5,000-foot) coral runway, a simulated LHD deck, and a drop zone for parachute training.

The three runways that were in use when World War II ended still exist. The center one is now abandoned and is used as a thoroughfare for the locals to get from the north to the south side of the island. The eastern one is now used by a small civilian air carrier, and the western one is still unimproved and is part of the training range.

Cultural references

The island is the setting of a traditional Okinawan drama where a sad girl by the name of Hando-gwaa fell in love with a man named Kanahi, Iejima's headman. When Hando-gwaa learned that Kanahi had already wed she climbed up to Tacchu Mountain and hanged herself with her long, black hair. One can find a statue of this woman in a garden that sits below Gusukuyama.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e "Iejima". Encyclopedia of Japan. Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. OCLC 56431036. Archived from the original on 2007-08-25. Retrieved 2013-01-06.
  2. ^ 沖縄県の推計人口: 2012年12月 [Population Statistics of Okinawa Prefecture: December 2012] (PDF) (in Japanese). Naha, Okinawa Prefecture: Okinawa Prefecture. 2012. Retrieved Jan 6, 2012.
  3. ^ a b c Journal, The Asia Pacific. "Beggars' Belief: The Farmers' Resistance Movement on Iejima Island, Okinawa—— | The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus". Retrieved 2018-08-31.

External links

Ahagon Shoko and the Farmers

Coordinates: 26°42′58″N 127°47′25″E / 26.71611°N 127.79028°E

805th Engineer Aviation Battalion

The 805th Engineer Aviation Battalion was an "Arms and Services with the Army Air Forces" unit activated on 12 February 1941 at MacDill Field near Tampa, Florida. It was inactivated shortly after World War II.


Anly (born January 20, 1997) is a Japanese pop singer-songwriter from Ie, Okinawa. She started playing the guitar at six years old, and started writing music in junior high school. In high school, she played live at various locations in Okinawa and Tokyo, allowing her to release two indie singles in 2015 before being signed to Sony Music Records. She released her debut single "Taiyō ni Warae" in 2015 and her debut album Anly One in 2017.

Ed Grady

Edward Louis "Ed" Grady (August 31, 1923 – December 10, 2012) was an American stage, film and television actor and teacher.

Ernie Pyle

Ernest Taylor Pyle (August 3, 1900 – April 18, 1945) was a Pulitzer Prize–winning American journalist and war correspondent who is best known for his stories about ordinary American soldiers during World War II. Pyle is also notable for the columns he wrote as a roving, human-interest reporter from 1935 through 1941 for the Scripps-Howard newspaper syndicate that earned him wide acclaim for his simple accounts of ordinary people across North America. When the United States entered World War II, he lent the same distinctive, folksy style of his human-interest stories to his wartime reports from the European theater (1942–44) and Pacific theater (1945). Pyle won the Pulitzer Prize in 1944 for his newspaper accounts of "dogface" infantry soldiers from a first-person perspective. He was killed by enemy fire on Iejima (then known as Ie Shima) during the Battle of Okinawa.

At the time of his death in 1945, Pyle was among the best-known American war correspondents. His syndicated column was published in 400 daily and 300 weekly newspapers nationwide. President Harry Truman was among those who paid tribute to Pyle: "No man in this war has so well told the story of the American fighting man as American fighting men wanted it told. He deserves the gratitude of all his countrymen."


IEJ may refer to:

the Iranian Endodontic Journal

the Iejima Airport

the Israel Exploration Journal

the Nazi "Institut zur Erforschung der Judenfrage" ("Institute for Study of the Jewish Question")

Ie, Okinawa

Ie (伊江村, Ie-son, Kunigami: Ii, Okinawan: Ii (伊江)) is a village located in Kunigami District, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. The village lies on the island of Iejima.

As of October 2016, the village has an estimated population of 4,192 and the density of 180 persons per km². Ie is in a period of sustained population loss, and has the highest rate of population loss in Okinawa Prefecture. The total area of the village is 22.75 square kilometres (8.78 sq mi). Iejima Airport serves the village.

Ie Shima Airfield

Ie Shima Auxiliary Airfield (伊江島補助飛行場, Iejima Hojo Hikōjō) is a training facility, managed by the United States Marine Corps and a former World War II airfield complex on Ie Shima, an island located off the northwest coast of Okinawa Island in the East China Sea. The airfield as such was inactivated after 1946 but part of the former airfield is still used as a training facility for parachute drops and vertical take off and landing aircraft such as the F-35. The facility is referenced as FAC6005 by Okinawa Prefecture.

Iejima Airport

Iejima Airport (伊江島空港, Iejima Kūkō) (IATA: IEJ, ICAO: RORE) is located the island of Iejima in Ie, Kunigami District, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. The runways were part of the Ie Shima Airfield complex built during World War II. In 2015, the government plans for Iejima Airport to have new terminal and to expand the runway to 2,000 meters in length to accommodate the airport for jet service.

Kunigami District, Okinawa

Kunigami (国頭郡, Kunigami-gun, Kunigami: Kunzan, Okinawan: Kunjan) is a district located in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. Roughly translated, kunigami means "head of the country", referring to its northern location on the island of Okinawa. Compare this to Shimajiri District, Okinawa.

As of 2003, the district has an estimated population of 64,670 and the density of 112.19 persons per km². The total area is 576.43 km².

Kunigami district includes a section of Okinawa Island and several smaller islands.

List of Historic Sites of Japan (Okinawa)

This list is of the Historic Sites of Japan located within the Prefecture of Okinawa. Much of the heritage of the Ryūkyū Kingdom and Islands was destroyed during the Battle of Okinawa. The mausoleum complex of Tamaudun, Shuri Castle, Katsuren Castle, Nakagusuku Castle, Nakijin Castle, Zakimi Castle, Sefa-utaki, and Sonohyan-utaki all form part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Gusuku Sites and Related Properties of the Kingdom of Ryukyu.

List of airports in Japan

This is a list of airports in Japan, grouped by classification and sorted by location. As of February 2012, the country has a total of 98 airports, of which 28 are operated by the central government and 67 by local governments.

List of islands by name (I)

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

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

List of islands of Japan

Japan has 6,852 islands. Approximately 430 are inhabited. Japan is the largest island country in East Asia and the fourth largest island country in the world. Here's a list of islands of Japan.

Motobu Peninsula

The Motobu Peninsula (本部半島, Motobu hantō, Okinawan: Mutubu) is a peninsula in the Yanbaru region of Okinawa Island. It is surrounded by Nago Bay to the south, the Haneda Inland Sea to the north, and the East China Sea to the west. It is mostly mountainous, with a few plains. The peninsula's northeasternmost point is Cape Bise. Its highest point is Mount Yae, whose summit is 593 metres (1,946 ft). Due to a US military communications tower, the summit is off-limits. The peninsula was the center of power for the kingdom of Hokuzan in medieval times, and was the site of fierce fighting during the Battle of Okinawa in 1945.

Mount Gusuku

Mount Gusuku (城山, Gusuku-yama, Kunigami: Tatchuu) is a mountain located on Ie Island in Ie, Okinawa. The mountain rises 172.2 m (565.0 ft) on Iejima to the northwest of Okinawa Island and is the highest point on the island. Mount Gusuku is considered a symbol of Iejima due to its distinctive conical shape.

The mountain sits on the eastern side of the island and is clearly visible from the main island of Okinawa and the East China Sea. The outline of Mount Gusuku can be clearly seen from the Motobu Peninsula on Okinawa Island and Sesoko Island. The mountain has historically served as a nautical landmark and appears in nautical charts from the medieval period.

Ryukyu wood pigeon

The Ryukyu wood pigeon (Columba jouyi), otherwise known as the silver-banded or silver-crescented pigeon is an extinct species of bird in the Columba genus in the family Columbidae. This wood pigeon was endemic to the Laurel forest habitat.

Yomitan Auxiliary Airfield

Yontan Airfield (also known as Yomitan Auxiliary Airfield) is a former military airfield on Okinawa, located Yomitan, Okinawa Village on the Okinawa western coast. It was closed in July 1996 and turned over to the Japanese government in December 2006. Today it is home to the Yomitan Village Office and community complex, including baseball fields, running tracks, and community facilities.Yontan (Yomitan) Airfield was originally established by Imperial Japanese Army in 1944 as Kita Airfield (北飛行場, Kita Hikōjō). During the Battle of Okinawa on April 1, 1945, United States Marine Corps and United States Army forces seized the airfield on the first day of the landing. It was quickly repaired and became the first airfield on Okinawa to be used by the American forces. Later, it was developed into a major American base for Army, Marine, and Navy aircraft. The Boeing B-29 Bockscar landed at Yomitan after the atomic bombing of Nagasaki.


This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.