Yaeyama Islands facts for kids
Map of the Yaeyama Islands
|Total islands||32 (min. 0.01 km²)|
|Major islands||Ishigaki Island, Iriomote Island, Yonaguni Island|
|Area||591.46 km2 (228.36 sq mi)|
|Elevation||525.5 m (1,724 ft)|
|Highest point||Mount Omoto|
|Population||53.627 (as of March 31, 2011)|
|Density||91/km2 (240/sq mi)|
The Yaeyama Islands (八重山諸島 Yaeyama-shotō, also 八重山列島 Yaeyama-rettō, Yaeyama: Yaima Okinawan: Eema) are an archipelago or group of islands in the southwest of Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. They cover 591.46 square kilometres (228.36 sq mi). The islands are southwest of the Miyako Islands. They are part of the Ryukyu Islands archipelago. The Yaeyama Islands are the remotest part of Japan from the main islands. They contain Japan's most southern (Hateruma) and most western (Yonaguni) inhabited islands. The city of Ishigaki serves as the political, cultural, and economic head of the Yaeyama Islands.
The Yaeyama Islands have numerous species of subtropical plants and mangrove forests. The islands produce sugarcane and pineapples. Coral reefs around the islands are ideal habitats for dolphins, sea turtles, and larger fish such as Manta rays and Whale sharks. Before being wiped out by humans, whales and Dugongs were common. Yaeyama once had the largest population of Dugongs in the Ryukyu Islands. On Aragusuku Island, there is a Utaki which has laid to rest Dugongs with their skulls. Non-residents are not allowed to enter unless they get an okay from the locals. It is said that any aliens without permission will be driven out by force.
- Yaeyama Islands (Yaeyama Subprefecture)
- Ishigaki City
- Ishigaki Island (Ishigaki-jima)
- Taketomi Town
- Aragusuku Island (Aragusuku-jima)
- Hateruma Island (Hateruma-jima)
- Iriomote Island (Iriomote-jima)
- Kayama Island (Kayama-jima)
- Kohama Island (Kohama-jima)
- Kuroshima Island (Kuroshima)
- Sotobanari Island (Sotobanari-jima) (officially uninhabited)
- Taketomi Island (Taketomi-jima)
- Yubu Island (Yubu-jima)
- Hatoma Island (Hatoma-jima)
- Yonaguni Town
- Yonaguni Island (Yonaguni-jima)
- Ishigaki City
The Yonaguni language is the indigenous language of the island of Yonaguni. The undersea Yonaguni monument is on the island of Yonaguni. The Yaeyama language is the indigenous language of the rest of the islands. Japanese is widely spoken as a second language. The Yaeyama Islands are home to the production of traditional Okinawan textiles.
14 July: Mushaama Festival. On Hateruma Island, this harvest festival is celebrated during Obon. It features a parade of the local fertility god Miruku and his children (the local children), shishi ("lion") dances, and staff dances.
Yaeyama Islands Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.