Ishigaki Island

Ishigaki Island (石垣島 Ishigaki-jima, Yaeyama: Ishanagï, Okinawan: Ishigachi), also known as Ishigakijima, is a Japanese island west of Okinawa Hontō and the second-largest island of the Yaeyama Island group. It is within the City of Ishigaki in Okinawa Prefecture. The city functions as the business and transport center of the archipelago. The island is served by New Ishigaki Airport, the largest airport in the Yaeyamas.

Much of the island and surrounding waters including Mount Omoto and Kabira Bay are protected as part of Iriomote-Ishigaki National Park.[1]

Ishigaki Island, like the rest of Okinawa, is culturally influenced by both Japan and Taiwan due to its location, about 300 km off the north eastern coast of Taiwan.

Ishigaki Island
Native name:
Ishigaki-jima (石垣島)
Ishigaki Island is located in Japan
Ishigaki Island
Ishigaki Island
LocationPacific Ocean
ArchipelagoYaeyama Islands
Area222.54 km2 (85.92 sq mi)
Highest elevation525.5 m (1,724.1 ft)
Highest pointMount Omoto
PrefectureOkinawa Prefecture
Populationaround 48,000
Ishigaki in Okinawa Map
Location of Ishigaki Island in Okinawa Prefecture


A tsunami of record height hit Ishigaki Island in 1771.[2]

The island provided the scene for the arrest of one of the perpetrators of Aum Shinrikyo's sarin gas attack, Yasuo Hayashi, 21 months after and 2000 km away from where the crime took place.

Ishigaki Port will be expanded so that five large Japanese Coast Guard patrol boats can be stationed there.[3] The JSDF is also considering deploying short range anti-ship missiles[4] (possibly the Type 96 Multi-Purpose Missile System) on the island.

These reinforcements are mostly in relation to the Japanese uninhabited Senkaku Islands, which lie 170 km north of Ishigaki and are under the control of the mayor of Ishigaki, which has been given civic authority over the territory since the Senkaku Islands reverted from the US to the Japanese government control in 1972. China (People's Republic of China) and Taiwan (Republic Of China) have challenged Japan's sovereignty over these Senkaku Islands since 1972, with more intensity since 2012.



Ishigaki has a very different cuisine from mainland Japan. Due to the relative warmth of the surrounding sea and due to various cultural influences, the food of Ishigaki is more meat-centered than the rest of Japan. For example, Tonsoku (pigs feet) are quite popular. The usage of Spam is also widespread and featured in many different dishes.


Ishigaki bay seen from southern gate bridge

Ishigaki Bay, seen from Southern Gate Bridge.

Ishigaki ryu

Ishigaki Island from space, August 1991

Ishigaki hirakubo hanto

Hirakubo Peninsula

2018-01-13 Shirahoreef & New Ishigaki Airport by Peach Airbus A320-214 白保海岸珊瑚礁と新石垣空港 DSCF9566a

Shiraho coral reef (2018)


Hirakubosaki lighthouse, Ishigakijima

See also


  1. ^ "Introducing places of interest: Iriomote-Ishigaki National Park (Ishigakijima)". Ministry of the Environment. Archived from the original on 20 April 2012. Retrieved 15 February 2012.
  2. ^ 「宮古八重山津波」(1771 年) における災害・年貢・復興について —石垣島と多良間島を中心に—」 豊見山和行 (Tomiyama, Kazuyuki) University of the Ryukyus Repository (Retrieved on May 13, 2009) (in Japanese) Index (Retrieved on May 13, 2009)
  3. ^ "Japan Coast Guard to form 600-member unit tasked solely with patrolling Senkakus."
  4. ^ Self-Defense Forces gear up for large-scale war games on remote isle (The Japan Times/AFP-JIJI)

External links

Coordinates: 24°26′N 124°13′E / 24.44°N 124.22°E

1771 Great Yaeyama Tsunami

The 1771 Great Yaeyama Tsunami (also called 明和の大津波, the Great Tsunami of Meiwa) was caused by the Yaeyama Great Earthquake at about 8 A.M. on April 24, 1771, south-southeast of Ishigaki Island, part of the former Ryūkyū Kingdom and now forming part of present-day Okinawa, Japan. According to records, 8,439 persons were killed on Ishigaki Island and 2,548 on Miyako Island.

Begin (band)

Begin (ビギン, Bigin, IPA: [biɡiɴ], stylized as BEGIN) is a Japanese pop rock group from Ishigaki Island in the Yaeyama Islands of Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. Their sound contains many elements of traditional Okinawan music, and prominently features the sanshin.

Chrysodeixis heberachis

Chrysodeixis heberachis is a moth of the family Noctuidae. It is found in Taiwan and Ishigaki Island (Japan).

Furusutobaru Castle

Furusutobaru Castle (フルスト原城, Furusutobaru jō) is a Ryukyuan gusuku in Ishigaki, Okinawa. It is located on Ishigaki Island next to Miyara Bay. It was listed as one of the Historic Sites of Japan in 1978.

Iriomote-Ishigaki National Park

Iriomote-Ishigaki National Park (西表石垣国立公園, Iriomote-Ishigaki Kokuritsu Kōen) is a national park in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. It is located on and around the Yaeyama Islands of the East China Sea.The park was established in 1972 as Iriomote National Park (西表国立公園) and included the islands of Iriomote, Kohama, Kuro, and Taketomi. In August 2007 the protected area was extended to include Ishigaki Island.The park is famous as the habitat of the Iriomote wild cat.


Ishigaki may refer to:

Ishigaki Island, a Japanese island west of Okinawa

Ishigaki, Okinawa, city

Ishigaki Airport

Japanese escort Ishigaki, World War II era ship of the Japanese Navy

10179 Ishigaki, main-belt asteroid

Ishigaki, Okinawa

Ishigaki (石垣市, Ishigaki-shi, Yaeyama: Isïgaksï, Ishanagzï) is a city in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. It includes Ishigaki island and the disputed Senkaku Islands territory. The city is the political, cultural, and economic center of the Yaeyama Islands. New Ishigaki Airport serves the city.

As of December 2012, the city has an estimated population of 48,816 and a population density of 213 persons per km2. The total area is 229.00 km2.It is also the location of the past-disputed Senkaku Islands (see below in the Geography section).

Kabira Bay

Kabira Bay (川平湾, Kabira wan) is located on the north coast of Ishigaki Island, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. Renowned for its white sands, turquoise waters and dense vegetation, the bay forms part of the Iriomote-Ishigaki National Park. Alongside Mount Omoto it has been designated a Place of Scenic Beauty. Black pearls are cultured in the bay.Kabira Village is located near the bay. Its traditional culture was studied by American anthropologists in 1950-52.

Kohama Island

Kohama Island (小浜島, Kohama-jima) (Yaeyama: Kumoo, Okinawan: Kubama) is an island in the Yaeyama Islands group at the southwestern end of the Ryukyu Islands chain, and part of Taketomi, Yaeyama District, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. The island has an area of 7.84 km2 (3.03 sq mi), with a surrounding area of 16.6 km2 (6.4 sq mi). The island is located about 25 minutes by ferry from Ishigaki Island, which is the transportation and business center of the Yaeyama Islands.

The 2001 NHK drama series Churasan was set on the island. Shinobu Miyara, former member of Da Pump, is from Kohama-jima.

Mount Omoto

Mount Omoto (於茂登岳, Omoto-dake) is a mountain located on Ishigaki Island in Okinawa, Japan. Together with Kabira Bay it is a nationally designated Place of Scenic Beauty.

Nakasone Toyomiya

Nakasone Toyomiya Genga (仲宗根豊見親玄雅, Okinawan: Nakasone Tuyumya Genga) (active c. 1500-1530) was a Ryūkyūan Chieftain and later Anji of the Miyako Islands credited with repelling an invasion from Ishigaki Island, and expanding Miyako political control over some of the Yaeyama Islands. When the Miyako Islands were attacked by the Ryūkyū Kingdom, Nakasone saved the people of Miyako from harm by agreeing to surrender to annexation by the Kingdom.

New Ishigaki Airport

New Ishigaki Airport (新石垣空港, Shin-Ishigaki Kūkō), (IATA: ISG, ICAO: ROIG), also branded as Painushima Ishigaki Airport (南ぬ島石垣空港, Painushima Ishigaki Kūkō, "Southern Island Ishigaki Airport"), is a regional airport located in the Shiraho district of Ishigaki, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. The airport is located near the eastern coast of Ishigaki Island. It connects the island to major cities in Japan as well as destinations throughout Okinawa Prefecture and the Yaeyama Islands. New Ishigaki Airport was built to replace Ishigaki Airport, which with a shorter runway of only 1,500 metres (4,900 ft), could not accommodate larger jets.

Operations at Ishigaki Airport ceased at midnight on March 6, 2013, and New Ishigaki Airport opened on March 7, 2013.

Oyake Akahachi

Oyake Akahachi (遠弥計赤蜂) was a Ryukyuan lord (aji) of Ishigaki Island who led a rebellion against the Ryukyu Kingdom in 1500.

Pericyma cruegeri

Pericyma cruegeri, the poinciana looper, is a moth of the family Noctuidae. It is found in south-east Asia including Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, Sumatra, Peninsular Malaysia, Borneo, the Philippines, New Guinea, northern New South Wales and Queensland. Furthermore, it is an introduced species in Hawaii and Guam, where it was first detected in 1971. In Japan, it was first detected in 1986 in Ishigaki Island and the living area is expanded to Okinawa Island by 2000

.The wingspan is about 40 mm. Adults are brown with a complex pattern of dark lines and patches, and often with some white areas. They are very variable in coloration.

The larvae feed on the foliage of Caesalpiniaceae species, including Peltophorum pterocarpum and Delonix regia and can cause extensive damage. They feed communally at first but separate when older.

Pupation occurs in a cocoon covered in debris on the ground some distance from the food plant. The cocoon has a length of about 20 mm.


Satakentia liukiuensis (satake palm, yaeyama-yashi [Japanese ヤエヤマヤシ], satakentia palm, yaeyama palm), is a species of palm tree, endemic to Ishigaki Island and Iriomote Island in the Yaeyama Islands, the southwesternmost of the Ryukyu Islands, Japan. It is the only species in the genus Satakentia.

Shiraho Saonetabaru Cave Ruins

Shiraho Saonetabaru Cave Ruins (白保竿根田原洞穴遺跡, Shiraho Saonetabaru Dōketsu Iseki) is a paleoanthropological site located on Ishigaki Island of the Yaeyama Islands in Japan. Shiraho Saonetabaru is a limestone cave.It was discovered in 2007 when plans for the New Ishigaki Airport were being developed. Remains of human heads, feet and arms were found, in all 9 bone fossils, by the Okinawa Limestone Cave Association between 2007 and 2009, and three human samples were dated to between 20,000-16,000 years before present. In the ruins were also found bones from wild boar and birds (one animal bone calibrated at 12,000 BP), while during the three months in 2011 were discovered approximately 300 human bones from the stratum between 24,000-20,000 years old.In 2015, researchers from the University of the Ryukyus and University of Tokyo succeeded in radiocarbon dating three out of five of the bones tested. The three bones yielded the following dates: (20,030 to 18,100 years BP), (22,890 to 22,400 years BP) and (24,990 to 24,210 years BP).The investigation held between 2012 and 2016 found more than 1,000 human fragments from at least 19 human skeletons. The "No. 4" almost full skeleton was dated about 27,000 BP, being the oldest full skeleton discovered in East Asia and several thousand years older than the skeletons of the Minatogawa people. Due to the skeletons' postures, the site has been confirmed as the first graveyard in the Paleolithic age in Japan.

Taketomi Island

Taketomi Island (竹富島, Taketomi-jima, Yaeyama: Teedun; Okinawan: Dakidun) is an island in the town of Taketomi, within Yaeyama District of Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. Taketomi is one of the Yaeyama Islands. The population of Taketomi Island was 323 as of January 2012.

Tarama, Okinawa

Tarama (多良間村, Tarama-son, Miyako & Okinawan: Tarama) is a village located in Miyako District, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. The village consists of Tarama Island and Minna Island between Ishigaki Island and Miyako Island.

As of 2013, the village has a population of 1,276 residents and 543 households. Tarama has a density of 58.2 persons per km2. The total area is 21.91 square kilometres (8.46 square miles).

Yonaguni, Okinawa

Yonaguni (与那国町, Yonaguni-chō, Yonaguni: Dunan, Yaeyama: Yunoon, Okinawan: Yunaguni) is a town located entirely on Yonaguni Island in Yaeyama District, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. It is the westernmost municipality in Japan, and is known for billfish fishing and as a diving spot. In 1987, divers discovered the Yonaguni Monument, a rock formation that some believe may be man-made.

It is also home to two Ryūkyūan writing systems, pictographic "kaida-di" (also used on Ishigaki and Taketomi islands where it is called "kaida-ji") and the symbols used to indicate family names, "dāhan" (also used on Ishigaki Island where they are called "yāban").

Core city


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.