Kerama Islands in relation to Okinawa-shima*

        The Kerama Islands are located 30 ~ 40 kilometers west of the Okinawa capitol, Naha. There are four main islands in the Kerama Islands:

        In addition to the above main islands, there are many small uninhabited islands throughout the Kerama Group.

        The following information is taken from the Okinawa Times:

        The Kerama Islands can be seen in the western distance with the naked eye from Naha Port, and a regular ferry can take you there in an hour and a half. The island group is made up of twenty islands and is divided into two villages, Tokashiki Village and Zamami Village. Designated as a National Park, many people spend their leisure time on the islands during the summer swimming, water-skiing and windsurfing. The island's location is an advantage because of its short distance from Naha, making it one of the best destinations for resort activities. Whale watching in the waters off the Keramas is also possible.

        The islands were one of the first landing places of the U.S. Forces during the Battle of Okinawa. U.S. Forces landed on Aka Island on March 26, 1945, and went on to take Yakabi, Zamami, Geruma and Tokashiki Islands. About 560 residents committed suicide by order of the Japanese troops stationed there in order to avoid capture. The Shiratama Monument on Tokashiki and Heiwa Monument on Zamami stand as a symbol of the sad chapter in the history of the Kerama Islands.

* Japanese maps have island names ending in either -shima or -jima (e.g., Okinawa-shima or Iwo-jima). The spelling of the island determines the correct ending . . . both stem endings mean "island".

NOTE: See links to the animals collected from the Kerama Islands by
Atsushi Ono and links to the animals collected by Jun Imamoto
which are featured on the Okinawa Slug Site as Opisthobranch of the Week.

Page Date: 12 Feb '01
Page Modification Date: 01 Apr '14
Copyright © 2014 Robert F. Bolland