Okinawa - Ryūkyū Kingdom
The name Okinawa means "rope in the open sea", a fairly apt description of this long stretch of islands between the four main islands of Japan and Taiwan. Consisting of 49 inhabited islands and 111 uninhabited islands, Okinawa has a subtropical/tropical climate. Unlike the other Japanese subtropical/tropical islands such as Ogasawara Islands, Amami Islands and Tokara Islands, there are frequent flights from all the major cities of Japan, which helps Okinawa remain one of the major tourist destinations for the Japanese. Every year there are more and more foreign visitors going to Okinawa but the number still remains low compared to the tourist destinations on mainland Japan.
The oldest evidence of human existence on the Okinawa Islands, Ryūkyū' (琉球) dates back to the Paleolithic era . Agricultural societies began in the 8th century. Since the islands are located in the center of the East China Sea, the Ryūkyū Kingdom became a prosperous trading nation, working as a bridge between Japan, China and Southeast Asia.
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