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Yoronjima

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  • Japanese: 与論島 (Yoronjima, Yorontô)

Yoronjima is the southernmost of the Amami Islands, within the broader Ryukyu archipelago. It lies to the south of Okinoerabujima, and north of Okinawa Island.

Local powerholders on the island exerted authority from Yoron gusuku, a fortress located at the southern tip of the island.

Yoron was subordinated under the authority of the Ryûkyû Kingdom sometime in the 16th century; records indicate that around 1526 Shuri dispatched an official named Hanagusuku Masaburô to administer Yoron.[1] Though the Shimazu clan invasion forces from Satsuma han which conquered and subordinated the kingdom in 1609 skipped Yoron, never landing forces there during the invasion, Yoron nevertheless came to be administered directly by Satsuma (while remaining officially regarded as part of the kingdom's territory) along with the rest of the Amamis. The daikan appointed by Satsuma to oversee Amami Ôshima had his authority extended to Okinoerabu and Yoron in 1690.[2]

After the Meiji government dismantled the domains in 1871, Yoron became a part of Kagoshima prefecture. Construction began on Yoron Station and a rail line in the early 20th century, but nothing was ever completed. Following World War II, the Amami Islands were restored to Japanese sovereignty (ending the US Occupation in the islands) on December 25, 1953, roughly 19 years before Okinawa Island and the southerly portions of the Ryukyus.[3]

References

  • Signs on-site, on-island.
  • Gallery labels, Amami no Sato, Amami Park.
  1. Gregory Smits, Maritime Ryukyu, University of Hawaii Press (2019), 180.
  2. Ono Masako, Tomita Chinatsu, Kanna Keiko, Taguchi Megumi, "Shiryô shôkai Kishi Akimasa bunko Satsuyû kikô," Shiryôhenshûshitsu kiyô 31 (2006), 244.
  3. Richard Siddle, "Return to Uchinâ," in Siddle and Glenn Hook (eds.), Japan and Okinawa: Structure and Subjectivity, Routledge Curzon (2002), 135.
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