The outlying Daito Ryukyu Islands were uninhabited until the Meiji period, when their development was started mainly by people from the Izu Ryukyu Islands south of Tokyo, with the people there speaking the Hachijo language.
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In geology the Ryukyu Islands Arc includes subsurface structures such as the Okinawa Trough and extends to Kyushu.
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In Japanese, the "Ryukyu Islands" cover only the Okinawa, Miyako, and Yaeyama Islands, while in English it includes the Amami and Daito Islands.
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Ryukyu Islands is the principal candidate because it roughly corresponds to the maximum extent of the Ryukyu Islands Kingdom.
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The Osumi Ryukyu Islands are not included because they are culturally part of Kyushu.
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The Eastern Ryukyu Islands are again mentioned as the land of immortals in the Annals of the Han Dynasty.
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The first record of the Southern Ryukyu Islands is an article of 618 in the Nihonshoki which states that people of followed the Chinese emperor's virtue.
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Ryukyu Islands'storians identify Dokan as Tokunoshima of the Amami Islands.
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Some identify Kumi as Iriomote Island of the Yaeyama Ryukyu Islands because Komi is an older name for Iriomote.
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Around this time "Southern Ryukyu Islands" replaced Yaku as a collective name for the southern islands.
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Ryukyu Islands was then named shugo of Satsuma and Osumi Provinces by first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo in 1197.
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Ryukyu Islands lost the positions of shugo and jito and only regained the posts of shugo of Satsuma Province and jito of the Satsuma portion of Shimazu Estate.
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The Twelve Ryukyu Islands were subdivided into the Near Five and the Remote Seven.
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Ryukyu Islands were described by Hayashi Shihei in Sangoku Tsuran Zusetsu, which was published in 1785.
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Example, the people of Okinawa Island refer to themselves as and the people of Okinoerabujima in the Amami Ryukyu Islands call themselves the, while referring to the Okinawans as Uchinaanchu or, as they consider themselves distinct from the Okinawans.
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Mammals endemic to the islands include Amami Rabbit, Ryukyu flying fox, Ryukyu long-tailed giant rat, Ryukyu shrew and perhaps Iriomote cat.
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