5 Things You Didn’t Know About Okinawa.

  • In Which, I Introduce You to the Land of Mr. Miyagi.

    1. Okinawa is made up of roughly 160 islands of various sizes. Because of this, and the fact that the Okinawa Prefecture is located near the southernmost point of the Japanese archipelago, Okinawa is almost viewed as a country unto itself.
    2. The Okinawa Prefecture is made up of: the Amami Islands, the Okinawa Islands, the Kerama Islands, the Senkaku Islands, the Yaeyama Islands, and the Miyako Islands.
    3. Okinawa’s subtropical climate makes it the perfect home for the Noguchi Gera (a species of woodpecker), the Yanbaru Kuina (a flightless rail [basically, a bird that doesn’t fly]), Iriomote Yamaneko (a species of wildcat), Yaeya-ma Yashi (a type of palm tree), and the Sakishima-suounoki (a species of the paulownia tree).
    4. Mount Otomo on Ishikagi Island (located within the Yaeyama Island Group), is considered to be the highest point in the prefecture. This is due to the fact that all other islands in the prefecture clock in with terrain below 300 meters (less than one mile) in height.
    5. As of 1999, the total population of Okinawa was 1, 311, 282. This has increased annually since WWII. Additionally, 80% of the population is located in central and southern Okinawa, which means that one out of every four people live in Naha, the capital of the prefecture.

    The History and Culture of Okinawa. (2001). Naha City, Okinawa, Japan: Okinawa Board of Education.

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