|Adjacent bodies of water||Sea of Japan|
|Total islands||4 main, 16 named, 180+ total|
|Area||346.1 km2 (133.6 sq mi)|
|Pop. density||70.7/km2 (183.1/sq mi)|
Oki Islands (?, Oki-shot?, or ? Oki-no-shima, ? Oki-gunt?) is an archipelago in the Sea of Japan, the islands of which are administratively part of Oki District, Shimane Prefecture, Japan. The islands have a total area of 346.1 square kilometres (133.6 sq mi). Only four of the around 180 islands are permanently inhabited. Much of the archipelago is within the borders of Daisen-Oki National Park. Due to their geological heritage, the Oki Islands were designated a UNESCO Global Geopark in September 2013.
D?go to the east is the largest island in area, and has the highest elevation, Mount Daimanji, at 608 metres (1,995 ft) above sea level. The D?zen group of islands to the west are all portions of single ancient volcanic caldera which collapsed, leaving three large islands (Nishinoshima, Nakanoshima and Chiburijima) and numerous smaller islands and rocks in a ring formation surrounding a central lagoon. The archipelago is approximately 40-80 kilometres (43 nmi) north of Honshu coast at its closest point. For administrative purposes, the Japanese government officially considers the disputed islet of Liancourt Rocks (Dokdo or Takeshima) to be a part of the town of Okinoshima on D?go.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
The Oki Islands have been inhabited since the Japanese Paleolithic era, and numerous artifacts from the J?mon, Yayoi and Kofun periods have been found by archaeologists, indicating continuous human occupation and activity. The islands were organized as Oki Province under the Ritsury? reforms in the latter half of the seventh century, and the name "Oki-no-kuni" appears on wooden markers found in the imperial capital of Nara. The islands are mentioned in the Nara period chronicles Kojiki and Nihon Shoki, and D?go Island was the location of the capital of ancient Oki Province. During the late Heian period, due to its remoteness, Oki Province came to known as a place for political exile. In 1221, Emperor Go-Toba was sent to Oki, and died in exile on the islands; In 1332, Emperor Go-Daigo was also sent in exile to Oki, but later managed to escape and regain control of the country.
From the Kamakura period Oki Province was governed primarily by the shugo of Izumo Province. In the Muromachi period, it was ruled successively by the Sasaki clan, the Yamana clan and the Ky?goku clan. In the Sengoku period the Amago clan held this province. After the Amago fell and the Tokugawa shogunate was established, Oki Province was declared a tenry? dominion under the direct control of the sh?gun. The daimy? of Matsue Domain, belonging to the Matsudaira clan, was appointed as governor.
The entire province had an assessed revenue of only 18,000 koku, although its actual revenues were closer to only 12,000 koku. The province was a frequent port of call for the Kitamaebune coastal trading ships during the Edo period.
Following the Meiji Restoration, Oki Province became "Oki Prefecture" from February to June 1869. It was then attached to Tottori Prefecture until 1876, when it was transferred to Shimane Prefecture.
In 1892, Lafcadio Hearn visited the islands, spending a month there, and writing about his experiences in Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan. Oki was visited by the American naturalist Charles Henry Gilbert in 1906.
The population is approximately 20,000 inhabitants spread over the four municipalities of:
The Oki islands can be reached by ferries from harbours like Sakaiminato (Tottori Prefecture) and Shichirui (Shimane Prefecture) on the mainland. There are also frequent ferries operating between the D?zen islands throughout the year.