Ryukyu Islands

geographical name
Ryu·​kyu Islands | \ rē-ˈyü-(ˌ)kyü How to pronounce Ryukyu Islands (audio) , -(ˌ)kü \

Definition of Ryukyu Islands

chain of islands in the western Pacific Ocean extending between Kyushu, the southernmost main island of Japan, and Taiwan area about 850 square miles (2200 square kilometers), population 1,222,458

Note: The Ryukus belonged to Japan from 1895 to 1945 and were occupied by the U.S. in 1945. The northern islands were returned to Japan in 1953 and the southern islands in 1972.

— see amami, okinawa, osumi islands, sakishima islands, tokara islands

Other Words from Ryukyu Islands

Ryukyuan \ rē-​ˈyü-​ˌkyü-​ən How to pronounce Ryukyuan (audio) , -​ˌkü-​ \ adjective or noun

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Cite this Entry

“Ryukyu Islands.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Ryukyu%20Islands. Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

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