Tokara Islands

The Tokara Islands (吐噶喇列島 Tokara-rettō) is an archipelago in the Nansei Islands, and are part of the Satsunan Islands, which is in turn part of the Ryukyu Archipelago. The 150 kilometres (81 nmi) chain consists of twelve small islands located between Yakushima and Amami-Oshima. The islands have a total area of 101.35 square kilometres (39.13 sq mi). Administratively, the whole group belongs to Toshima Village, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. Only seven of the islands are permanently inhabited. The islands, especially Takarajima, are home to the Tokara Pony.

Tokara
Native name:
吐噶喇列島 (トカラ列島), Tokara rettō
Akusekijima
Akusekijima
Satsunan Islands
Map of Kagoshima Prefecture
Geography
Coordinates29°58′00″N 129°55′01″E / 29.9667°N 129.917°ECoordinates: 29°58′00″N 129°55′01″E / 29.9667°N 129.917°E
Adjacent bodies of waterPacific Ocean
Total islands12
Area101.35 km2 (39.13 sq mi)
Administration
PrefecturesKagoshima
DistrictKagoshima District
VillageToshima
Demographics
Population648 (2010)
Pop. density6.39 /km2 (16.55 /sq mi)
Ethnic groupsJapanese

Etymology

One theory holds that the name “Tokara” was derived from “tohara”, or “distant sea area” (沖の海原), as viewed from Okinawa. Another theory states that the name come from the Ainu word tokap, which means “breast”. The southernmost inhabited island in the archipelago, Takarajima, has a mountain Megamiyama (女神山 Goddess Mountain) with such a shape.

History

Mention is made in the Shoku Nihongi under an entry for the year 699 of an island called “Tokan” ( 度感 ), which is usually identified with Tokara, together with the islands of Tane, Yaku and Amami, although “Tokan” is also sometimes identified with Tokunoshima, an island approximately 150 kilometres (93 miles) away. However, an entry in the earlier Nihon Shoki for the year 654 mentions a "Tokara Country" ( 吐火罗国, Tokara no kuni ), but is in reference to Tukhāra, the land of the Tocharians, and has nothing to do with the Tokara Islands. During the 15th and 16th centuries, the islands came under the control of the Shimazu clan of Satsuma Domain and the Ryukyu Kingdom. Ryukyu ceded its territory in the Tokara Islands to Satsuma in 1611, which was confirmed by the Tokugawa Shogunate in 1624.

In 1908, the islands were administratively organized into Jitto Village (十島村 Jitto-mura, literally “Ten islands”), of which seven were inhabited. After World War II, from 2 February 1946 all of the Satsunan islands south of 30th Latitude, including the Tokara Islands, were placed under United States military administration as part of the Provisional Government of Northern Ryukyu Islands. However, the three northern inhabited islands in the archipelago, Iōjima, Kuroshima and Takeshima, remained under the control of Japan, and were placed under the administration of the village of Mishima. The remaining Tokara Islands reverted to Japan on 10 February 1952 and are now administered as the village of Toshima.

Islands

Nakanoshima kakou
The crater on the highest peak (Otake) in Nakano-shima. The stripes that can be seen at the right in this photograph are disused sulfur mining facilities.
Tokarauma otake
Tokara Pony
Photo Name Kanji Area
[km²]
Population
2004[1]
highest point
[m]
Peak Coordinates
Kuchinoshima20031019-2.jpg Kuchinoshima 口之島 13.33 140 628.5 Maedake 29°58′15″N 129°55′20″E / 29.97083°N 129.92222°E
Nakanoshima Kagoshima.jpg Nakanoshima 中之島 34.47 167 979.0 Otake 29°50′30″N 129°52′30″E / 29.84167°N 129.87500°E
Gaja island and Kogaja island 20070308.jpg Gajajima 臥蛇島 4.07 497.2 29°54′11″N 129°32′30″E / 29.90306°N 129.54167°E
Kogaja-Jima Island Aerial Photograph.jpg Kogajajima 小臥蛇島 0.50 301,0 29°52′48″N 129°37′15″E / 29.88000°N 129.62083°E
Taira-Jima Tokara Island Aerial Photograph.jpg Tairajima 平島 2.08 79 245 Ontake 29°41′15″N 129°31′57″E / 29.68750°N 129.53250°E
Suwanosejima.jpg Suwanosejima 諏訪之瀬島 27.66 48 796,0 Ontake 29°38′19″N 129°42′50″E / 29.63861°N 129.71389°E
Akusekijima 2.jpg Akusekijima 悪石島 7.49 72 584 Mitake 29°27′36″N 129°36′06″E / 29.46000°N 129.60167°E
Kojima 小島 0.36 56,0 29°13′40″N 129°20′45″E / 29.22778°N 129.34583°E
Kodakara-Jima Island Aerial Photograph.jpg Kodakarajima 小宝島 1.00 43 102.7 29°13′26″N 129°19′34″E / 29.22389°N 129.32611°E
Takara-jima Island Aerial photograph.1978.jpg Takarajima 宝島 7.14 114 291.9 Imakira-dake 29°08′40″N 129°12′29″E / 29.14444°N 129.20806°E
Kaminone-island Aerial Photograph.jpg Kaminonejima 上ノ根島 0.54 280,0 28°49′56″N 129°0′03″E / 28.83222°N 129.00083°E
Yokoate-island Aerial Photograph.jpg Yokoate-jima 横当島 2.76 494.8 Higashimine 28°47′57″N 128°59′20″E / 28.79917°N 128.98889°E

References

  • National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGIA). Prostar Sailing Directions 2005 Japan Enroute. Prostar Publications (2005). ISBN 1577856511
  1. ^ "Toshima" (PDF). 2004. Archived from the original (PDF; 19 kB) on 4 July 2011. Retrieved 6 July 2013.

External links

Akusekijima

Akusekijima (悪石島), is one of the Tokara Islands, a sub-group of the Satsunan Islands belonging to Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. The island, 7.42 km² in area, has a population of 59 persons. The island can only be reached by boat as it has no airport, there is a ferry service twice per week to the city of Kagoshima on the mainland. Travel time is about 11 hours. The islanders are dependent mainly on fishing and seasonal tourism.

Gajajima

Gajajima (臥蛇島), is an abandoned island in the Tokara Islands, a sub-group of the Satsunan Islands belonging to Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. The island has an area of 4.07 km² in area and was inhabited to 1970.

Izu thrush

The Izu thrush or Izu Islands thrush (Turdus celaenops) is a bird of the thrush family native to the Izu and Ryukyu Islands of Japan (Hachijojima, Mikurajima, and Miyakejima in the former chain, and Yakushima and the Tokara Islands in the latter). The species is absent from the main islands of Japan due to its limited range. It is listed in the IUCN Red List as Vulnerable.

Reaching a length of approximately 23 cm, the Izu thrush has a distinctive dark plumage, with a black head and tail contrasting with yellow eye-ring and bill, chestnut brown wings, and a rust-red belly. This color pattern often elicits comparisons to the American robin.

Kodakarajima

Kodakarajima (小宝島), literally "small treasure island", is one of the Tokara Islands, belonging to Kagoshima Prefecture. The island, 1.0 km² in area, is the smallest inhabited island in the archipelago, and has a population of 49 people. The island can only be reached by boat as it has no airport; there is regular ferry service to the city of Kagoshima on the mainland. Travel time is about 13 hours. The islanders are dependent mainly on fishing and seasonal tourism.

Kogajajima

Kogajajima (小臥蛇島) is an uninhabited volcanic island located in the Tokara Islands, part of the Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan.

Kuchinoshima

Kuchinoshima (口之島), literally "mouth island", is one of the Tokara Islands, belonging to Kagoshima Prefecture. The island, 13.33 km² in area, and has a population of 140 persons. The island can only be reached by boat as it has no airport, there are regular ferry service to the city of Kagoshima on the mainland. Travel time is about 6 hours. The islanders are dependent mainly on agriculture, fishing and seasonal tourism. The island is home to the rare Kuchinoshima breed of Japanese native cattle.

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.

Mishima, Kagoshima

Mishima (三島村, Mishima-mura) is a village consisting of the inhabited islands of Iōjima, Kuroshima and Takeshima and the uninhabited islands of Shōwa Iōjima and Denshima located in Kagoshima District, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. The village office is located in the city of Kagoshima, outside the village.

As of June 2013, the village has an estimated population of 383 and a population density of 12.2 persons per km². The total area is 31.36 km².

Nakanoshima (Kagoshima)

Nakanoshima (中之島), is a volcanic island located in the Tokara Islands, part of the Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. It is the largest and most populous island of the islands in Toshima village. The island, 34.47 km² in area, had 167 inhabitants as of 2005.

The island has no airport, and access is normally by ferry to the city of Kagoshima on the mainland, seven hours away. The islanders are dependent mainly on agriculture, fishing and seasonal tourism. The island's attractions include hot springs, a lighthouse, an observatory and a museum of local history and folklore.

Nakanoshima (disambiguation)

Nakanoshima (中之島、中の島、中ノ島、中野島) may refer to:

Nakanoshima, a sandbank in central Osaka, Japan

Nakanoshima Park on the sandbank

Nakanoshima (Kagoshima), a volcanic island in the Tokara Islands of Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan

Nakanoshima (Shimane), an island in the Oki Islands of Shimane Prefecture, Japan

Nakanoshima, Niigata, Japan, a former town

A district in Tama-ku, Kawasaki

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.

Satsunan Islands

The Satsunan Islands (薩南諸島, Satsunan-shotō) is a geopolitical name for a group of islands that forms the northern part of the Ryukyu Islands. The whole island group belongs to Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan.

Suwanosejima

Suwanosejima (諏訪之瀬島) is one of the Tokara Islands, belonging to Kagoshima Prefecture. The island covers 27.66 km² in area and has a population of 48 persons. Although the island has an airport, there are no regularly scheduled services, and access is normally by ferry to the city of Kagoshima on the mainland. The island is about nine hours by boat from the mainland. The islanders are dependent mainly on agriculture, fishing and seasonal tourism.

Tairajima

Tairajima (平島), is one of the Tokara Islands, a sub-group of the Satsunan Islands belonging to Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. The island, 2.08 km² in area, has a population of 79 persons. The island can only be reached by boat as it has no airport; there is a ferry service twice per week to the city of Kagoshima on the mainland. Travel time is about 9 hours. The islanders are dependent mainly on fishing and seasonal tourism.

Takarajima

Takarajima (宝島), literally "treasure island", is one of the Tokara Islands, belonging to Kagoshima Prefecture. The island, 7.14 km² in area, has a population of 116 persons. The island can only be reached by boat as it has no airport; there is regular ferry service to the city of Kagoshima on the mainland of Kyushu. Travel time is about 13 hours. The islanders are dependent mainly on fishing and seasonal tourism.

Tokara habu

The Tokara habu (Protobothrops tokarensis) is a venomous pit viper species endemic to the Tokara Islands of Japan. No subspecies are currently recognized.

Tokara horse

The Tokara (吐噶喇馬, Tokara-uma) (also known as the Kagoshima horse) is a Japanese horse native to the Tokara Islands, a group of islands in Kagoshima Prefecture at the southwestern tip of the island of Kyushu. Its height is about 100 to 120 centimetres (10 to 12 hands). Its coat color is predominantly seal brown. The Tokara has a good tolerance for heat and is used for agriculture, riding and sugar cane processing.

Toshima, Kagoshima

Toshima (十島村, Toshima-mura) is a village consisting of the islands of the Tokara Islands located in the Satsunan Islands of Kagoshima District, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. The village office is located in the city of Kagoshima, outside the village.

As of 2013, the village has an estimated population of 688 and a density of 6.79 persons per km2. The total area is 101.35 km2.

Iōjima, Kuroshima and Takeshima and the uninhabited islands of Shōwa Iōjima and Denshima

Yokoate-jima

Yokoate-jima (横当島) is an uninhabited volcanic island located in the Tokara Islands, part of the Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan.

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