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Welcome to Okinawa!
The following is from Okinawa Magazine, published by
the Okinawa Prefectural Government and the Okinawa
Convention and Visitors Bureau.
EDIT THIS. MODIFY TO
OWN WORDS!!! See Y-P-B & Ok-G to create a
Where is Okinawa?
Okinawa Prefecture is located southwest of
mainland Japan, at 24 degrees to 27 degrees north
latitude and 122 degrees to 128 degrees 30' east
longitude. The prefecture consists of 161 islands
(44 inhabited and 117 uninhabited islands), and
those islands span 1,000 kilometers from east to
west and 400 kilometers from north to south.
Okinawa can be found between mainland Japan and
Taiwan in the Pacific Ocean and is considered an
International resort destination. Okinawa is found
in the same latitude zone as the other famous beach
resort destinations such as Hawaii, Florida, and the
What's the Average Temperature in Okinawa?
Okinawa is in the subtropical climate zone and
has comfortable weather for vacationers throughout
the year. In Japan, Okinawa is the only prefecture
that is located in the subtropical climate zone.
The average annual termpature of Okinawa is 22.4
C (72.3 F). Even during the winter, the temperature
averages 16 C (60.8 F) and never dips below 10 C (50
(The following is from Okinawan History: A Brief
Outline by Dr. Mitsugu Sakihara)
Ryukyu is an archipelago which stretches for 1300
km (about 800 miles) between Kyushu and Taiwan. It
consists of four island groups: Amami-Oshima,
Okinawa, Miyako, and Yaeyama in the order from North
to South. Okinawa prefecture embraces Okinawa,
Miyako and Yaeyama islands excluding Amami-Oshima.
Its February 1983 population census reveals
1,135,629 people, consisting of about seventy
islands, with the total land area of 2,245 sq. km
(about 922 sq. miles). The largest island is
Okinawa with 53% of the total land area.
The relatively constant warm temperatures and
frequent rainfall of the subtropical zone keep the
islands green throughout the year. It is not
unusual for rainfall to be recorded for over half of
the days of the year. Typhoons with monsoon rains
strike regularly in late summer and early fall,
leaving destruction in their wake.
The Ryukyu language is a major dialect of
Japanese. The separation of the Ryukyuan dialect
from the language of the Japanese main islands took
place about 1500 years ago. Over the subsequent
centuries, Ryukyuan gradually became unintelligible
to the Japanese. Depsite government efforts after
1879 to establish Japanese as the standard language,
the local dialect persisted as the informal language
of the home and friends. Recently, however, radio,
television and increased travel between Okinawa and
the main islands of Japan have accomplished to a
large extent what prewar governments failed to
attain. Today, the Okinawan language is near
The indigenous religion is animistic with strong
resemblance to the primitive Shinto on the mainland
Japan. Awe-inspiring natural objects, special
geologic formations, and locations associated with
ancestors are regarded with reverence. Females, lay
and professional shamans, play an important role in
domestic and communal religion.
Continuous human habitation may be traced to
about 4,000 years ago. Two northern island groups (Amami-Oshima
and Okinawa) show evidence of southwarad migration
from Kyushu, whereas in the two southern island
groups (Miyako and Yaeyama) evidence points to
Melanesian cultural strains from the South.
In the 11th century, castles began sprouting all
over Okinawa symptomizing a period of struggles
among the emerging petty rulers. In the late 12th
Century, one of the petty rulers founded Shunten
Dynasty (1187-1259). It was followed by the Eiso
Dynasty (1260-1349), the Satto Dynasty (1350-1405),
the First Sho Dynasty (1406-1469), and the Second
Sho Dynasty (1470-1879). The last dynasty was
replaced by Okinawa prefecture with governors
appointed from Tokyo until 1945. During the 27 year
American interlude from 1945 to 1972, Okinawa was
under the U.S. military government.
The first three dynasties exercised their control
probably only in their adjacent areas. But King
Satto is known for establishing tributary
relationships with China in 1372. This relationship
with China greatly accelerated Ryukyu's cultural and
political development. The First Sho Dynasty
achieved the political unification of Okinawa in