Awashima Island, Niigata

Awashima (粟島) is an island in the Sea of Japan.[1] The island is located approximately 30 kilometres (19 mi) west of the city of Murakami in northern Niigata Prefecture.

Awashimaura, Niigata
Native name:
Awashima Island Niigata Aerial photograph.1977.jpg
Aerial photograph of Awashima in 1977
Awashimaura in Niigata Prefecture.png
LocationSea of Japan
Coordinates38°27′13″N 139°14′18″E / 38.45361°N 139.23833°E / 38.45361; 139.23833
Area9.86 km2 (3.81 sq mi)
Length6,100 m (20,000 ft)
Width4,400 m (14,400 ft)
Coastline23,000 m (75,000 ft)
Highest elevation265.6 m (871.4 ft)
Population265 (June 2016)
Ethnic groupsJapanese
Aerial video of Awashima Island in summer
Kamaya area of Awashima

Awashima is administratively the village of Awashimaura under Iwafune District of Niigata Prefecture. As of 2016, the island's population is 365.


Awashima has been inhabited since at least the Jōmon period, as archaeologists have found Jōmon period pottery shards in five locations on the islands east coast. However, no evidence of inhabitation from the Yayoi period or the Kofun period has yet been discovered. The name of the island first appears in a verse in the Nara period Man'yōshū poetry anthology, at which time the island was on the frontier of the Yamato state with the Emishi. The Matsura clan of northern Kyushu, noted pirates and sea traders, began to occupy the eastern shore of the island from the 9th century, gradually pushing the Emishi out. During the Edo period, the island passed between Murakami Domain, Shonai Domain and direct control by the Tokugawa Shogunate several times. During the Boshin War, the Schnell brothers offloaded weapons for Shonai Domain at Awashima. After the Meiji restoration, the village of Asahimaura was created in 1909 as part of Iwafune, District, Niigata Prefecture. The epicentre of the 1964 Niigata earthquake was near Awashima.

Minor PlanetEdit

A minor planet 13039 Awashima has been named after the island.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Izu Shotō," Japan Encyclopedia, p. 412.


  • Teikoku's Complete Atlas of Japan, Teikoku-Shoin., Ltd. Tokyo 1990, ISBN 4-8071-0004-1

External linksEdit

  Media related to Awashima at Wikimedia Commons