A report on Japan and Ryukyu Islands

Satellite photo of the Ryukyu islands (Nansei islands)
The last sunset in Japan is seen from Yonaguni.
Legendary Emperor Jimmu (神武天皇)
Sea routes used by Japanese missions to Tang China
Tanegashima matchlock
Samurai warriors battling Mongols during the Mongol invasions of Japan, depicted in the
Okinawa Islands during the Sanzan Period
Emperor Meiji (明治天皇); 1852–1912
Flag of the Ryūkyū Kingdom until 1875
Japan's imperial ambitions ended on September 2, 1945, with the country's surrender to the Allies.
Harimizu utaki (Harimizu Shrine), a Ryukyuan shrine in Miyakojima, Okinawa Prefecture
The Japanese archipelago
Jōmon Sugi in Yakushima
Mount Fuji in Spring, view from Arakurayama Sengen Park
The Yonaguni Monument, a rock formation along the south coast of Yonaguni Island
Autumn maple leaves at Kongōbu-ji on Mount Kōya, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
The National Diet Building
Japan is a member of both the G7 and the G20.
JMSDF class destroyer
The Tokyo Stock Exchange
A rice paddy in Aizu, Fukushima Prefecture
A plug-in hybrid car manufactured by Toyota. Japan is the third-largest maker of motor vehicles in the world.
The Japanese Experiment Module (Kibō) at the International Space Station
Japan Airlines, the flag carrier of Japan
The Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant
The Greater Tokyo Area is ranked as the most populous metropolitan area in the world.
The torii of Itsukushima Shinto Shrine near Hiroshima
Kanji and hiragana signs
Students celebrating after the announcement of the results of the entrance examinations to the University of Tokyo
12th-century illustrated handscroll of The Tale of Genji, a National Treasure
Noh performance at a Shinto shrine
Young ladies celebrate Coming of Age Day (成人の日) in Harajuku, Tokyo
A plate of nigiri-zushi
Sumo wrestlers form around the referee during the ring-entering ceremony
Japanese samurai boarding a Mongol vessel during the Mongol invasions of Japan, depicted in the, 1293
Skyscrapers in Nakanoshima, Osaka; a major financial centre in Japan

The Ryukyu Islands (琉球諸島), also known as the Nansei Islands (南西諸島) or the Ryukyu Arc (琉球弧), 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.

- Ryukyu Islands

The Ryukyu Islands, which include Okinawa, are a chain to the south of Kyushu.

- Japan

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Kyushu

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Kyushu from the International Space Station.
Geofeatures map of Kyushu
Map of Kyushu region with prefectures.
JMSDF District Forces, including the Sasebo District Force.

Kyushu (九州) is the third-largest island of Japan's five main islands and the most southerly of the four largest islands (i.e. excluding Okinawa).

Per Japanese census data, the Kyushu region's population with Ryukyu Islands (Okinawa and Kagoshima Prefectures) has experienced a large population decline since around 2000.

Map of the island

Okinawa Island

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Map of the island
The first Ryukyuan mission to Edo, the capital of Tokugawa Japan
The last King Shō Tai
American troops in Okinawa, June 27, 1945
Kokusai Street in Naha
Topographic map of Okinawa Island
Farmland in Okinawa
F-15C Eagles and an F-15D of the 18th Wing, Kadena Air Base
US military bases in Okinawa (2010)
Shuri Castle Festival in Naha
Tapic Kenso Hiyagon Stadium in Okinawa.
Naha Airport (2010)
Okinawa Urban Monorail
Yanbaru forest and Mount Yonaha
Matsuyama intersection in Naha
The Okinawa rail
Cliffs at Manzamo
Village of Onna
A pond in Okinawa
Cape Busena, in Nago, Okinawa
Sunset Beach (Chatan-cho)
Map of Okinawa Prefecture with location of Okinawa Island
Shuri Castle in Naha
Shureimon
Nakagusuku Castle ruins
Cornerstone of Peace monument
Nakamura house
Okinawa Island is the home of Tsuboya-yaki, pottery in the Ryūkyūan tradition.
Bullfighting (Tōgyū) arena. Okinawa is the home of a form of bullfighting sometimes compared to sumo

Okinawa Island (沖縄本島) is the largest of the Okinawa Islands and the Ryukyu (Nansei) Islands of Japan in the Kyushu region.

Ryukyuan people

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Haplogroup dispersal and migration routes into Japan.
The gusuku fortification are on the Gusuku Sites and Related Properties of the Kingdom of Ryukyu UNESCO's list.
Map of Okinawa Island, showing the Sanzan period polities.
The castle town and Ryukyu Kingdom's capital Shuri Castle.
Five Ryukyuan men, Meiji period.
The kamekōbaka (Turtleback tomb) is the traditional Ryukyuan family tomb.

The Ryukyuan people (Okinawan: or, 琉球民族/りゅうきゅうみんぞく, also Lewchewan or Loochooan) are an East Asian ethnic group native to the Ryukyu Islands, which stretch between the islands of Kyushu and Taiwan.

Administratively, they live in either the Okinawa Prefecture or the Kagoshima Prefecture within Japan.

Taiwan

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Taiwan has been settled for at least 25,000 years.

Taiwan has been settled for at least 25,000 years.

A young Tsou man
Fort Zeelandia, the Governor's residence in Dutch Formosa
Hunting deer, painted in 1746
Japanese colonial soldiers march Taiwanese captured after the Tapani Incident in 1915 from the Tainan jail to court.
General Chen Yi (right) accepting the receipt of General Order No. 1 from Rikichi Andō (left), the last Japanese Governor-General of Taiwan, in Taipei City Hall
The Nationalists' retreat to Taipei
Chiang Kai-shek, leader of the Kuomintang from 1925 until his death in 1975
With Chiang Kai-shek, US president Dwight D. Eisenhower waved to crowds during his visit to Taipei in June 1960.
In 1988, Lee Teng-hui became the first president of the Republic of China born in Taiwan and was the first to be directly elected in 1996.
Student protest in Taipei against a controversial trade agreement with China in March 2014
A satellite image of Taiwan, showing it is mostly mountainous in the east, with gently sloping plains in the west. The Penghu Islands are west of the main island.
Köppen climate classification of Taiwan
Dabajian Mountain
2015 Ma–Xi meeting
ROC embassy in Eswatini
The flag used by Taiwan at the Olympic Games, where it competes as "Chinese Taipei" (中華台北)
Taiwan's popularly elected president resides in the Presidential Office Building, Taipei, originally built in the Japanese era for colonial governors
Tsai Ing-wen, President of the Republic of China
Su Tseng-chang, Premier of the Republic of China
Taiwanese-born Tangwai ("independent") politician Wu San-lien (second left) celebrates with supporters his landslide victory of 65.5 per cent in Taipei's first mayoral election in January 1951.
Results from an identity survey conducted each year from 1992 to 2020 by the Election Study Center, National Chengchi University. Responses are Taiwanese (green), Chinese (red) or Both Taiwanese and Chinese (hatched). No response is shown as grey.
Republic of China Army’s Thunderbolt-2000, a multiple rocket launcher
The C-130H in Songshan AFB
Taipei 101 held the world record for the highest skyscraper from 2004 to 2010.
Neihu Technology Park in Taipei
Rice paddy fields in Yilan County
China Airlines aircraft line-up at Taoyuan International Airport
Children at a Taiwanese school
Population density map of Taiwan (residents per square kilometre)
Original geographic distributions of Taiwanese indigenous peoples
Most commonly used home language in each area, darker in proportion to the lead over the next most common
National Taiwan University Hospital
Apo Hsu and the NTNU Symphony Orchestra onstage in the National Concert Hall
Taiwanese writer, literary critic and politician Wang Tuoh
Yani Tseng with the 2011 Women's British Open trophy
Tai Tzu-ying, the current world No.1 in BWF at the 2018 Chinese Taipei Open
St. John's Catholic Church in Banqiao District, New Taipei
Countries maintaining relations with the ROCdiplomatic relations and embassy in Taipei
unofficial relations (see text)
The Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) is the top-tier professional baseball league in Taiwan

in East Asia, at the junction of the East and South China Seas in the northwestern Pacific Ocean, with the People's Republic of China (PRC) to the northwest, Japan to the northeast, and the Philippines to the south. The territories controlled by the ROC consist of 168 islands, with a combined area of 36193 km2. The main island of Taiwan, formerly known as Formosa, has an area of 35,808 km2, with mountain ranges dominating the eastern two-thirds and plains in the western third, where its highly urbanised population is concentrated. The capital, Taipei, forms along with New Taipei City and Keelung the largest metropolitan area of Taiwan. Other major cities include Kaohsiung, Taichung, Tainan, and Taoyuan. With 23.2 million inhabitants, Taiwan is among the most densely populated countries in the world.

Elsewhere, the name was used for the Ryukyu Islands in general or Okinawa, the largest of them; indeed the name Ryūkyū is the Japanese form of Liúqiú.

Honshu

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Japan as seen from a satellite. Honshu is the largest, middle island.

Honshu (本州), historically called Hondo (本土), is the largest and most populous main island of Japan.

(Sus scrofa leucomystax, aka white-moustached pig, Nihon-inoshishi (ニホンイノシシ)), is a subspecies of wild boar native to all of Japan, save for Hokkaido and the Ryukyu Islands.

Shigeru Yoshida, Prime Minister of Japan signing the San Francisco Peace Treaty on September 8, 1951 at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco, California

Treaty of San Francisco

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Shigeru Yoshida, Prime Minister of Japan signing the San Francisco Peace Treaty on September 8, 1951 at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco, California
Memorial for Treaty of San Francisco in Shimomaruko, Ōta ward, Tokyo

The Treaty of San Francisco (サンフランシスコ講和条約), also called the, re-established peaceful relations between Japan and the Allied Powers on behalf of the United Nations by ending the legal state of war and providing for redress for hostile actions up to and including World War II.

Article 3 of the treaty left the Bonin Islands and the Ryukyu Islands, which included Okinawa and the Amami, Miyako and Yaeyama Islands groups, under a potential U.N. trusteeship.

First Sino-Japanese War, major battles and troop movements

First Sino-Japanese War

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Conflict between the Qing dynasty of China and the Empire of Japan primarily over influence in Joseon Korea.

Conflict between the Qing dynasty of China and the Empire of Japan primarily over influence in Joseon Korea.

First Sino-Japanese War, major battles and troop movements
Caricature about the dispute between China, Japan and Russia over Korea, published in the first edition of Tôbaé, 1887
Woodblock print depicting the flight of the Japanese legation in 1882
Kim Ok-gyun photographed in Nagasaki in 1882. His assassination in China would contribute to tensions leading to the First Sino-Japanese War.
Itō Sukeyuki, Commander-in-Chief of the Japanese Combined Fleet
The French-built Matsushima, flagship of the Imperial Japanese Navy during the Sino-Japanese conflict
Japanese troops during the Sino-Japanese War
Empress Dowager Cixi built the Chinese navy in 1888.
, the flagship of the Beiyang Fleet
Depiction of the sinking of the Kow-shing and the rescue of some of its crew by the French gunboat Le Lion, from the French periodical Le Petit Journal (1894)
Korean soldiers and Chinese captives
Japanese soldiers of the First Sino-Japanese War, Japan, 1895
The Battle of the Yalu River
An illustration by Utagawa Kokunimasa of Japanese soldiers beheading 38 Chinese POWs as a warning to others
Revisionist depiction of Chinese delegation, led by Admiral Ding Ruchang and their foreign advisors, boarding the Japanese vessel to negotiate the surrender with Admiral Itō Sukeyuki after the Battle of Weihaiwei. In reality, Ding had committed suicide after his defeat, and never surrendered.
Japan–China peace treaty, 17 April 1895
Satirical drawing in the magazine Punch (29 September 1894), showing the victory of "small" Japan over "large" China
Convention of retrocession of the Liaodong Peninsula, 8 November 1895
Western Powers tried to divide their interests and influence in China in the aftermath of the First Sino-Japanese War.

In addition, there were fortress troops consisting of approximately six battalions, the Colonial Corps of about 4,000 troops which was stationed on Hokkaido and the Ryukyu Islands, and a battalion of military police in each of the districts.

On 1 August 1894, war was officially declared between China and Japan.

Tokugawa Ieyasu, first shōgun of the Tokugawa shogunate

Edo period

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Tokugawa Ieyasu, first shōgun of the Tokugawa shogunate
Bird's-eye view of Nagasaki bay, with the island Dejima at mid-left (1820)
The San Juan Bautista is represented in Claude Deruet's painting of Hasekura Tsunenaga in Rome in 1617, as a galleon with Hasekura's flag (red manji on orange background) on the top mast.
Itinerary and dates of the travels of Hasekura Tsunenaga
The house of the merchant (Fukagawa Edo Museum )
Social classes during the Edo period (Tokugawa shogunate).
Scaled pocket plan of Edo
A set of three ukiyo-e prints depicting Osaka's bustling shipping industry. by Gansuitei Yoshitoyo. 1854–1859.
Tokugawa coinage: Ōban, Koban, Ichibuban (1601-1695).
Nihonbashi Fish Market Prosperity (Edo period) by Utagawa Kuniyasu
Terakoya, private educational school
Wadokei, Japanese-made clockwatch, 18th century
Kaitai Shinsho, Japan's first treatise on Western anatomy, published in 1774
Karakuri puppet Moji-kaki doll made by Tanaka Hisashige. Using mechanical power, a puppet dips a brush into ink and writes a character on paper. 19th century
Red and White Plum Blossoms by Ogata Kōrin, 1712-1716
Mounting for wakizashi decorated with lacquer of maki-e technique. 18th century
The Great Wave off Kanagawa, full-colour ukiyo-e woodblock print, Hokusai, c. 1829–1832
Outer kimono for a young woman (uchikake), 1840–1870, Khalili Collection of Kimono
Dai-Roku Daiba (第六台場) or "No. 6 Battery", one of the original Edo-era battery islands
One of the cannons of Odaiba, now at the Yasukuni Shrine. 80-pound bronze, bore: 250mm, length: 3830mm
Matthew Calbraith Perry
Landing of Commodore Perry, Officers and Men of the Squadron To meet the Imperial Commissioners at Kurihama Yokosuka March 8th, 1854
Tokugawa Yoshinobu in later life
Kanrin Maru, Japan's first screw-driven steam warship, 1855
Samurai in western clothing of the Tokugawa Shogunate Army (1866).
Reading stand with Mt. Yoshino, decorated with lacquer of maki-e technique. 18th century
Ukiyo-e based on kabuki actors became popular. Ichikawa Danjūrō V in the popular kabuki play Shibaraku, by Utagawa Kunimasa, 1796
Ukiyo-e depicting Sushi, by Hiroshige
A boarding place for a ferry on the Miya River, which is crowded with people visiting Ise Grand Shrine. by Hiroshige
{{lang|ja-Latn|Inro}} and {{lang|ja-Latn|Netsuke}}, 18th century
Ladies fashion in 1700s by Utagawa Toyokuni
Bird's-eye view of Nagasaki bay, with the island Dejima at mid-left (1833)

The Edo period (江戸時代) or Tokugawa period (徳川時代) is the period between 1603 and 1867 in the history of Japan, when Japan was under the rule of the Tokugawa shogunate and the country's 300 regional daimyo.

Besides small trade of some outer daimyo with Korea and the Ryukyu Islands, to the southwest of Japan's main islands, by 1641, foreign contacts were limited by the policy of sakoku to Nagasaki.