Bonin Islands

Coordinates: 26°59′53″N 142°13′05″E / 26.99806°N 142.21806°E / 26.99806; 142.21806

The Bonin or Ogasawara Islands (Japanese: 小笠原群島, Ogasawara Guntō) are a Japanese archipelago of over 30 subtropical and tropical islands located around 1,000 kilometers (620 mi) SSE of Tokyo and 1,600 kilometers (1,000 mi) northwest of Guam.[1][2] The group as a whole has a total area of 84 square kilometers (32 sq mi) but only two of the islands are permanently inhabited, Chichijima and Hahajima. Together, their population was 2560 as of 2021. Administratively, Tokyo's Ogasawara Subprefecture includes the Volcano Islands and the Self-Defense Force post on Iwo Jima. The seat of government is Chichijima.

Bonin Islands
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Ogasawara islands.png
The Bonins or Ogasawara Islands comprise three main island groups—Mukojima, Chichijima, & Hahajima—located SSE of Tokyo. Administratively, they also include the nearby Volcano Islands including Iwo Jima.
Official nameOgasawara Islands
LocationJapan
IncludesIslands, reefs, marine areas
CriteriaNatural: (ix)
Reference1362
Inscription2011 (35th Session)
Area7,939 ha (30.65 sq mi)
Coordinates27°43′6″N 142°5′59″E / 27.71833°N 142.09972°E / 27.71833; 142.09972
Bonin Islands is located in Oceania
Bonin Islands
Location of Bonin Islands in Oceania

Because of the Bonins' isolation, many of their animals and plants have undergone unique evolutionary processes. It has been called "the Galápagos of the Orient" and was named a natural World Heritage Site in 2011. When first reached during the early modern period, the islands were entirely uninhabited, the source of the name "Bonin". Subsequent research has found evidence of some prehistoric habitation by Micronesians. Upon their repeated rediscoveries, the islands were largely ignored by the Spanish, Dutch, and isolationist Japanese until finally being claimed by a passing British captain in 1827. American, European, and Hawaiian colonists arrived from the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1830. Subsequently, Meiji Japan successfully colonized and reclaimed the islands in 1875 but the original multicultural community continued up to World War II, when most islanders were forcibly relocated to Honshu. Following Japan's defeat, the US Navy occupied the island, bulldozing existing Japanese homes and restricting resettlement until full control of the Bonins was returned to Japan in 1968. Ethnically, the island is now majority Japanese but remains unusually diverse, including a local creole known as Bonin English. Improved transportation has made agriculture more profitable and developed tourism, but the development required for an airport remains a contentious local issue.

NamesEdit

The name "Bonin Islands" comes from the Japanese word bunin (an archaic reading of 無人 mujin), meaning "no people" or "uninhabited". Ogasawara Municipality (mura) and Ogasawara Subprefecture take their names from the Ogasawara Group. The Ogasawara Archipelago (小笠原諸島, Ogasawara shotō) is also used as a wider collective term that includes other islands in Ogasawara Municipality, such as the Volcano Islands, along with three other remote islands (Nishinoshima, Minamitorishima, and Okinotorishima). Geographically speaking, all of these islands are parts of the Nanpō Islands.

HistoryEdit

PrehistoryEdit

At the end of the 20th century, prehistoric tools and carved stones were discovered on North Iwo Jima and Chichijima, establishing that the islands were previously home to at least some members of an unknown Micronesian people.[3]

Early modern periodEdit

The first recorded visit by Europeans to the islands happened on 2 October 1543, when the Spanish explorer Bernardo de la Torre on the San Juan sighted Haha-jima, which he charted as Forfana.[4] At that time, the islands were uninhabited. Japanese discovery of the islands occurred in Kanbun 10 (1670) and was followed by a shogunate expedition in Enpō 3 (1675).[5] The islands were then referred to as Bunin jima (無人島, Buninjima), literally "the uninhabited islands". Shimaya Ichizaemon, the explorer at the order of the shogunate, inventoried several species of trees and birds, but after his expedition, the shogunate abandoned any plans to develop the remote islands.[6]

In 1727, Ogasawara Sadatō (小笠原 貞任, Ogasawara Sadatō), a rōnin, claimed that the islands were discovered by his ancestor Ogasawara Sadayori (小笠原 貞頼, Ogasawara Sadayori), in 1593, (Tensho 20), and the territory was granted as a fief by Toyotomi Hideyoshi. However, investigation of the claim found that it was a fraud and the very existence of Sadayori was doubtful; as a punishment Sadato was exiled by the shogunate (1735).

The first published description of the islands in the West was brought to Europe by Isaac Titsingh in 1796. His small library of Japanese books included Sangoku Tsūran Zusetsu (三国通覧図説, An Illustrated Description of Three Countries) by Hayashi Shihei.[7] This book, which was published in Japan in 1785,[8] briefly described the Ogasawara Islands.[9]

These groups were collectively called Islas del Arzobispo (Archbishop Islands) in Spanish sources of the 18th–19th century. This name is most likely due to an expedition organized by the Arzobispo (Archbishop) Pedro Moya de Contreras, Viceroy of New Spain, to explore the northern Pacific and the islands of Japan. Its main objective was to find the long sought and legendary islands of Rica de Oro (Rich in Gold), Rica de Plata (Rich in Silver) and the Islas del Armenio (Islands of the Armenian). After several years of planning and frustrated attempts the expedition finally set sail on 12 July 1587 commanded by Pedro de Unamuno. Even if it did revisit the Daitō Islands, already charted by Bernardo de la Torre in 1543, the expedition could not find the wanted islands after searching the positions where they were charted in contemporary references.[10] Japanese maps at the time seem to have been rather inaccurate and therefore considered by some[11] to be deliberately misleading. It is thought that this was an attempt to discourage colonization attempts by foreign nations. Frederick William Beechey used the Spanish name as late as 1831 and believed that the Japanese Boninsima referred to entirely different islands.[12]

19th centuryEdit

On 12 September 1824 American Captain James Coffin in the whaler Transit first visited the southern group of islands (Coffin Islands). He visited the archipelago again in 1825 but this time he arrived at the middle group of islands (Beechey Group).[13]

In September 1825, the British whaling ship Supply landed in the southern Bailey Group of islands. In 1826, another British whaler, William, arrived at Beechey Island.[13] Whaling ships called on a regular basis, for water and turtles, before continuing their voyages.[14]

In 1827 Captain F. W. Beechey of HMS Blossom reached the island chain and claimed them as a British possession. A copper plate was removed from Blossom's hull and left on a beach as a marker of the claim:

"HBM Ship Blossom Capt F. W. Beechey took possession of this Group of Islands in the Name of and on the behalf of His Britannic Majesty George the IV on the 14th June 1827."[15]

He also named the island of Chichijima "Peel" after then British Home Secretary Sir Robert Peel.[2] Beechey was also surprised to find two men living on the islands. They remained on the islands after the William left the year before in 1826. The men were Wittrein and Petersen.[13]

In 1830, with the help of British Consul to the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) Richard Charlton, Richard Millichamp, and Matteo Mazzaro sailed to the islands.[13] The first permanent colony was made up of Nathaniel Savory of Bradford, Massachusetts, America, Richard Millichamp of Devon, England; Matteo Mazzaro of Ragusa/Dubrovnik, Austrian Empire (now in Croatia); Alden B. Chapin and Nathaniel Savory of Boston; Carl Johnsen of Copenhagen; as well as seven unnamed men and 13 women from the Kingdom of Hawaii.[16] They found the climate suitable for farming and the raising of livestock. Rum was made from cane sugar, and bordellos were opened, sometimes staffed by women kidnapped from other island chains. Whalers and other ships that could not find another friendly port in Japan often visited the Bonins for provision and recreation.[17]

Two years later the Oriental Translation Fund of Great Britain and Ireland published a posthumous, abridged publication of Titsingh's French translation of Sankoku Tsūran Zusetsu.[18]

Further settlers arrived in 1846, aboard the whaling ship Howard. They established themselves initially in South Island. (One of them, a woman from the Caroline Islands named Hypa, died in 1897 age about 112, after being baptized on her deathbed.[19])

Commodore Matthew C. Perry of the United States Navy visited the islands in 1853 and bought property at Port Lloyd from Savory for $50. The US "Colony of Peel Island" (Chichijima) was created and Savory was appointed governor.

 
A village in the Bonins during the early Shōwa period

In January 1862 (Bunkyū 1), the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan claimed the islands in a short-lived colonial enterprise. The shogunal steamboat Kanrin Maru was dispatched to the islands with a crew of cartographers, physicians and prominent bureaucrats. The islands were officially renamed Ogasawara, referring to the legendary Japanese discoverer from the late 16th century. This tentative colonization, however, did not last for long. In summer 1863, under foreign pressure, the shogunate ordered the evacuation of the islands.[6]

In 1875 the Japanese Meiji government reclaimed the islands.[20] The Japanese names of each island were resolved and 38 settlers from Hachijojima were sent the following year. In 1876 the islands were put under the direct control of the Home Ministry. Further foreign settlement was banned, and the government assisted settlers who wished to relocate there from mainland Japan. The islands' forests were also cut down for sugar cane production. Colonists largely segregated themselves in two different villages, one for the Americans and the other for the Japanese.[2] Islanders of European and US ancestry were eventually granted Japanese nationality in 1882. Jack London visited the islands in 1893 and published an account of his sojourn.[2]

20th centuryEdit

Lionel Cholmondeley compiled a history of the islands over the course of several years. His work was published in London in 1915.

In 1917, 60–70 island people claimed ancestry among the 19th-century English-speaking settlers; however, in 1941, no Bonin people would acknowledge descent from these early colonists.[21] The current residents include some who claim to be related to Nathaniel Savory.[22] In the winter of 1920–1921, Russian Futurist painter David Burliuk lived in the Bonin Islands and painted several landscapes of the islands.[23]

 
A man at a well, alongside buildings with the thatched roofs, weather-beaten unpainted sides and paper partitions and windows, characteristic of the islands before World War II

The islanders were relegated to an insignificant status up through the early Shōwa period. After Japan's attack on the American naval base at Pearl Harbor, English was banned on the Bonins, and Americans had to take on Japanese names.[2] As fighting creeped closer to Japan during the later stage of the war, most inhabitants were forcibly evacuated to the mainland. There was a Japanese military base on Chichijima run by a Major Sueo Matoba (的場 末男, Matoba Sueo), who was known for engaging in cannibalism and other acts on prisoners of war.[24] The torpedo bomber of later American President George H. W. Bush crashed in the ocean near Chichijima. He ended up getting rescued by USS Finback and becoming the only one to ultimately survive.[25][26] Eight other airmen downed near the islands were later executed and cannibalized by the Japanese soldiers.[2] Matoba Sueo was eventually hanged for his crimes after the war.[24] The Battle of Iwo Jima in 1945, one of the fiercest battles of World War II, was fought on a garrison island in this region of the Pacific.[27]

Following Japan's surrender, the islands were controlled by the United States Navy for the next 23 years, which the Westerners referred to as "Navy Time." All residents except those descended from the original settlers and/or related to them by marriage were expelled,[28] while pre-war inhabitants of White American or European, Micronesian or Polynesian ancestry were allowed to return.[29] Vacant properties of exiled Japanese were bulldozed as part of the Navy's management of nuclear weapons on Chichijima. In 1956, the residents petitioned for American annexation of the islands but received no response. In 1968, without consulting them, the United States government returned the Bonins to Japanese control. The Americans could choose to either become Japanese nationals or to receive American citizenship and repatriate to the United States. Initially some 600 Japanese relocated to the islands, growing to about 2,000 by the end of the 20th century.[2]

21st centuryEdit

The Bonins were named a natural World Heritage Site on 24 June 2011.[30]

EconomyEdit

Historically, the Bonin Islands consisted of subsistence farming with some exploitation of timber and grazing land for export to the mainland. With improved transportation, it has developed as a tourist destination, particularly for Japanese interested in scuba diving and ecotourism. Foreign tourists are also sometimes drawn both by the islands' remoteness and its unusually mixed local culture. Refrigeration has also allowed greater exporting of fruits and vegetables. Coffee bushes have also been recently introduced to some success.[31]

There are also a number of government agencies involved with the islands. A 25-metre-diameter (82 ft) radio telescope is located in Chichijima, one of the stations of the very-long-baseline interferometry (VLBI) Exploration of Radio Astrometry (VERA) project, and is operated by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan.

Geography and administrationEdit

 
Satellite photo of Chichijima and Hahajima

The Bonin Islands consist of three subgroups. Their former names come from a variety of sources but their Japanese ones generally reflect a family:

  • Muko-jima Group (聟島列島 Muko-jima Rettō), formerly the Parry Group
    • Muko-jima (聟島, lit.'Bridegroom Island')
    • Yome-jima (嫁島, lit.'Bride Island'), formerly Kater Island
    • Nakōdo-jima or Nakadachi-jima (媒島, lit.'Matchmaker Island')
    • Kita-no-jima (北の島 or 北島, lit.'Northern Island')
    • Mae-jima, formerly The Ears
  • Chichi-jima Group (父島列島 Chichi-jima Rettō), formerly the Beechey Group
    • Chichi-jima (父島, lit.'Father Island'), formerly the Main Island or Peel Island
    • Ani-jima (兄島, lit.'Elder Brother Island'), formerly Hog Island or Buckland Island
    • Otōto-jima (弟島, lit.'Younger Brother Island'), formerly North Island or Stapleton Island
    • Mago-jima (孫島 lit.'Grandchild Island')
    • Higashi-jima (東島 lit.'East Island')
    • Nishi-jima (西島 lit.'West Island'), formerly Goat Island
    • Minami-jima (南島 lit.'South Island'), formerly Knorr Island
  • Haha-jima Group (母島列島 Haha-jima Rettō), formerly the Baily Group or Coffin Islands
    • Haha-jima (母島, lit.'Mother Island'), formerly Hillsborough Island
    • Mukō-jima (向島, lit.'Island Over There'), formerly Plymouth Island
    • Hira-jima or Taira-jima (平島, lit.'Flat Island')
    • Ane-jima (姉島, lit.'Elder Sister Island'), formerly Perry Island
    • Imōto-jima (妹島, lit.'Younger Sister Island'), formerly Kelly Island
    • Mei-jima (姪島, lit.'Niece Island')

Although not part of the Bonins (小笠原群島, Ogasawara-guntō) geographically,[32] the nearby Volcano IslandsNishinoshima (Rosario Island), Okinotorishima (Parece Vela), and Minamitorishima (Marcus Island)—are organized as part of Ogasawara municipality (小笠原村, Ogasawara-mura).[33] Ogasawara itself is organized as a subprefecture of Tokyo.[34] In Japanese, the geographical expression for the full range of the municipality is the "Ogasawara Archipelago" (小笠原諸島, Ogasawara-shotō) which in turn is sometimes calqued back into English as another meaning for "the Bonin Islands".

GeologyEdit

The Bonin Islands are a part of the Izu–Bonin–Mariana Arc of Pacific islands. A fore arc, they lie above the subduction zone where the Pacific Plate slides beneath the Philippine Sea Plate. This began during the Eocene, simultaneously producing the deep Bonin Trench to the east about 50 million years ago and prolonged volcanic activity that created the islands on the west around 48 million years ago. The Bonins are mostly composed of an andesitic volcanic rock called boninite, rich in magnesium oxide, chromium, and silicon dioxide. They may represent the exposed parts of an ophiolite that has not yet been emplaced on oceanic crust. Although the area is currently dormant, most of the islands still have steep shorelines, often with sea cliffs ranging from 50 to 100 meters (160 to 330 ft) high.[35]

The Volcano Islands are much younger and still geologically active. Iwo Jima is a dormant volcano characterized by rapid uplift and several hot springs. The highest point in the entire chain lies on South Iwo Jima, at 916 meters (3,005 ft). In November 2013, a new volcanic island formed offshore from Nishinoshima and eventually merged with it.[36]

The islands are fringed with healthy coral reefs and have many small beaches.[35]

ClimateEdit

The climate of the Bonin Islands range from a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa) to tropical monsoon climate (Köppen climate classification Am).

The climate of Chichijima in is on the boundary between the humid subtropical climate (Köppen classification Cfa) and the tropical monsoon climate (Köppen classification Am). Temperatures are warm to hot all year round owing to the warm currents from the North Pacific gyre that surround the island. Rainfall is less heavy than in most parts of mainland Japan since the island is too far south to be influenced by the Aleutian Low and too far from Asia to receive monsoonal rainfall or orographic precipitation on the equatorward side of the Siberian High. The wettest months are May and September, while the driest months are January and February.

Climate data for Chichijima (1991–2020)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 20.7
(69.3)
20.5
(68.9)
21.7
(71.1)
23.4
(74.1)
25.6
(78.1)
28.5
(83.3)
30.4
(86.7)
30.3
(86.5)
29.9
(85.8)
28.6
(83.5)
25.9
(78.6)
22.7
(72.9)
25.7
(78.3)
Daily mean °C (°F) 18.5
(65.3)
18.1
(64.6)
19.3
(66.7)
21.1
(70.0)
23.4
(74.1)
26.2
(79.2)
27.7
(81.9)
28.0
(82.4)
27.7
(81.9)
26.4
(79.5)
23.8
(74.8)
20.6
(69.1)
23.4
(74.1)
Average low °C (°F) 15.8
(60.4)
15.4
(59.7)
16.8
(62.2)
18.8
(65.8)
21.4
(70.5)
24.4
(75.9)
25.6
(78.1)
26.1
(79.0)
25.7
(78.3)
24.4
(75.9)
21.6
(70.9)
18.2
(64.8)
21.2
(70.2)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 63.6
(2.50)
51.6
(2.03)
75.8
(2.98)
113.3
(4.46)
151.9
(5.98)
111.8
(4.40)
79.5
(3.13)
123.3
(4.85)
144.2
(5.68)
141.7
(5.58)
136.1
(5.36)
103.3
(4.07)
1,296.1
(51.02)
Average rainy days (≥ 0.5 mm) 11.0 8.5 9.8 10.0 11.8 8.8 8.6 11.3 13.4 13.7 12.0 11.2 130.1
Average relative humidity (%) 66 68 72 79 84 86 82 82 82 81 76 70 77
Mean monthly sunshine hours 131.3 138.3 159.2 148.3 151.8 205.6 246.8 213.7 197.7 173.2 139.1 125.3 2,030.3
Source: Japan Meteorological Agency [37]

The easternmost island, Minamitorishima or Marcus Island, has a tropical savanna climate (Köppen classification Aw) with warm to hot temperatures throughout the year. The wettest months are July and August, while the driest months are February and March.

Climate data for Minamitorishima or Marcus Island (1991–2020)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 24.6
(76.3)
24.3
(75.7)
25.3
(77.5)
27.1
(80.8)
29.0
(84.2)
31.0
(87.8)
31.3
(88.3)
31.0
(87.8)
30.9
(87.6)
30.2
(86.4)
28.7
(83.7)
26.7
(80.1)
28.3
(82.9)
Daily mean °C (°F) 22.4
(72.3)
21.8
(71.2)
22.5
(72.5)
24.3
(75.7)
26.1
(79.0)
28.0
(82.4)
28.5
(83.3)
28.4
(83.1)
28.5
(83.3)
27.9
(82.2)
26.5
(79.7)
24.5
(76.1)
25.8
(78.4)
Average low °C (°F) 20.3
(68.5)
19.6
(67.3)
20.4
(68.7)
22.3
(72.1)
24.1
(75.4)
25.8
(78.4)
26.1
(79.0)
26.1
(79.0)
26.4
(79.5)
25.9
(78.6)
24.7
(76.5)
22.6
(72.7)
23.7
(74.7)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 69.7
(2.74)
43.4
(1.71)
56.0
(2.20)
59.6
(2.35)
100.6
(3.96)
44.3
(1.74)
139.8
(5.50)
177.1
(6.97)
94.8
(3.73)
89.6
(3.53)
83.0
(3.27)
90.8
(3.57)
1,052.8
(41.45)
Average rainy days (≥ 0.5 mm) 10.9 8.5 8.1 7.8 9.3 7.2 14.8 16.7 14.1 12.7 10.4 11.8 132.3
Average relative humidity (%) 70 70 74 79 79 77 77 79 79 78 76 74 76
Mean monthly sunshine hours 170.8 179.4 222.3 240.2 275.1 311.2 276.3 248.1 254.6 250.8 211.0 182.3 2,821.7
Source: Japan Meteorological Agency [38]

EcologyEdit

FloraEdit

 
Kominato beach and Kopepe Beach, Chichi-jima

Flora has evolved differently on each of the islands. The Bonin Islands are sometimes referred to as the Galápagos of the Orient.[39][30] They form a distinct subtropical moist broadleaf forest ecoregion, the Ogasawara subtropical moist forests. The ecoregion has a high degree of biodiversity and endemism. The islands are home to about 500 plant species, of which 43% are endemic. The forests are of three main types:[40]

  • Type I: ElaeocarpusArdisia mesic forest is found in the moist lowland areas with deep soils. The forests have a closed canopy with a height of about 15 meters (49 ft), dominated by Ardisia sieboldii. Elaeocarpus photiniaefolius, Pisonia umbellifera, and Pouteria obovata are other important canopy species. These forests were almost completely destroyed by clearing for agriculture before 1945.
  • Type II: DistyliumRaphiolepisSchima dry forest is found in drier lowland and upland sites with shallower soils. It is also a closed-canopy forest, with a 4-to-8-meter (13 to 26 ft) canopy composed mostly of Distylium lepidotum, Rhaphiolepis integerrima, Schima mertensiana, Pouteria obovata, and Syzygium buxifolium. The Type II forests can be further subdivided into:
    • Type IIa: Distylium-Schima dry forest occurs in cloudy upland areas with fine-textured soils. These forests contain many rare and endemic species, with Pandanus boninensis and Syzygium buxifolium as the predominant trees.
    • Type IIb: Raphiolepis-Livistona dry forest is found in upland areas with few clouds and rocky soils. Rhaphiolepis integerrima is the dominant tree species, along with the fan palm Livistona boninensis, Pandanus boninensis and Ochrosia nakaiana.
  • Type III: Distylium-Pouteria scrub forest is found on windy and dry mountain ridges and exposed sea cliffs. These forests have the highest species diversity on the islands. Distylium lepidotum and Pouteria obovata are the dominant species, growing from 0.5 to 1.5 meters (1.6 to 4.9 ft) tall. Other common shrubs are Myrsine okabeana, Symplocos kawakamii, and Pittosporum parvifolium.[40]

These islands are home to the northernmost outliers of the palm genus Clinostigma. C. savoryianum is endemic and has been planted in mediterranean climates with success. Other unique species include Metrosideros boninensis, a plant related to similar species growing in Fiji and New Caledonia.

FaunaEdit

The giant squid (Architeuthis) was photographed off the Bonins for the first time in the wild on 30 September 2004 and was filmed alive there in December 2006.[41]

The range of the Bonin petrel extends beyond the Bonins themselves to other islands in the North Pacific. There are two restricted-range species of birds on the islands, the Japanese woodpigeon (Columba janthina) and the near-threatened Bonin white-eye (Apalopteron familiare), formerly known as the Bonin honeyeater. The Japanese woodpigeon was extirpated from the Iwo Island groups in the 1980s. The formerly endemic Bonin pigeon (C. versicolor), Bonin thrush (Zoothera terrestris) and Bonin grosbeak (Carpodacus ferreorostris) are now extinct.[42]

A small bat, Sturdee's pipistrelle, is only known in one record and has not been seen since 1915. The Bonin flying fox (Pteropus pselaphon), also called the Bonin fruit bat, is endemic to the islands. It is currently listed as endangered,[43] and a survey published by the Ogasawara Office of Education in 1999 estimated their number at around 100.[44]

 
Mandarina suenoae on Anijima

The islands are also renowned for the many species of snails that are found across the islands, especially the Mandarina snails.[45] Unfortunately, most of the native snails are now endangered or extinct because of introduced species and habitat loss.[46]

TransportationEdit

Water transportEdit

 
The Ogasawara Maru at Tokyo's Takeshiba pier. The liner travels between Tokyo and the Bonins.
 
Futami Port, Chichi-jima, Ogasawara Village.

The main port is Futami on Chichijima. Since 2016, the main line connecting the islands to the mainland is the Ogasawara Shipping Company (小笠原海運株式会社). It operates the Ogasawara Maru (おがさわら丸), a 11,035-ton 150-meter (490 ft) long vessel with 170 private rooms and a total capacity of 894 passangers.[47] With a top speed of 24.7 knots (45.7 km/h; 28.4 mph), it makes the trip from Takeshiba Pier in Tokyo in about 24 hours in good weather.[47] The number of monthly voyages varies, having fallen during the coronavirus epidemic.

Previously, there had been plans for a 14,500-ton "techno superliner" able to reach a maximum speed of 38 knots (70 km/h; 44 mph) and make the same journey in only 17 hours with a capacity of around 740 passengers.[48] The project was canceled in July 2005, however, due to rising fuel prices and cost overruns of ¥2 billion.[49]

To get to Hahajima, one first travels to Chichijima and then crosses on the ferry Hahajima Maru.

Road transportEdit

Ogasawara Village operates a bus service on Chichijima and elderly passengers may use a "silver pass". There is also a sightseeing taxi service, a rental car company, motorized scooter rental services, a bike rental service, and other amenities. Bringing one's own automobile onto the island is extremely difficult and costly.

Air transportEdit

The Bonins have no airport. During severe accidents, illnesses, and other emergencies, a helicopter is dispatched from the Self-Defense Force post on Iwo Jima. The ShinMaywa US-1 seaplane from the SDF post at Iwakuni is used during visits by the Tokyo governor and other dignitaries and for any emergency requiring rapid transport back to Honshu.

For several decades, there has been talk of building a full airport.[50][51][52][53] Sites on Chichijima and Anijima have both been mooted. Travel time to the mainland would be cut to around 2 hours, improving tourism and the provision of emergency services,[54] and the national, regional, and local government have all supported the idea in theory. Projects have lagged, however, due to concerns about its economic feasibility and concerns that the proposed sites are homes to numerous valuable, rare, or endangered plant species. Some locals have greatly desired an airport, while a desire to keep the natural beauty of the islands untouched has prompted othes to work to block one.[55][56] The issue is quite controversial on the islands.[57]

On 26 June 2016, the Japanese minister of environment Tamayo Marukawa talked about airport construction on the Bonins after the meeting in Tokyo commemorating the 5th anniversary of their registration as World Natural Heritage.[58] At a 27 July 2017 meeting with Ogasawara Village, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government announced that it was considering opening a regular air route between Tokyo and the Bonins using a proposed 1,200 m (3,900 ft) runway that would be built on Chichijima. This would allow it to land propeller aircraft with up to 50 passengers. The Tokyo government said that construction would depend on future assessment of the impact on the natural environment and economic feasibility. Ogasawara Village supported the runway in preference to expanding either the current helicopter or seaplane access.[59] In fiscal 2019, 490 million yen was included in the Japanese budget for a feasibility study and a survey on Chichijima to determine the best location to construct the runway.[60] In August 2020, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government held a council during which it affirmed its desire to open an airport but claimed that it would not occur until 2030 at the earliest.[54] To address environmental concerns, they further proposed shortening the runway to about 500 meters (1,600 ft) and using tiltrotor aircraft to compensate.[54]

Demography, language, and educationEdit

 
An islander, who appears to be a Christian clergyman of US or European descent, in about 1930

In 2021, the Bonins had a total population of 2560, divided between Chichijima (2120) and Hahajima (440).[61] Virtually all of the Bonin Islands' permanent inhabitants are Japanese citizens. This includes the significant proportion with ancestors from the United States, Europe, and other Pacific islands, who can often be distinguished by their physical features, family names spelled out with katakana, and adherence to Christianity. During and after the US military occupation of 1946–68, a small minority of islanders opted for US citizenship and/or emigrated from the islands. However, most islanders with non-Japanese ancestry now appear to be reassimilating with the ethnic Japanese majority.

Japanese is the common language. Because settlers from the United States, Europe and other Pacific islands preceded ethnic Japanese residents, an English-lexified pidgin which subsequently developed into a creole, known as Bonin English, Ogasawara Creole or Ogasawara Mixed Language, emerged on the islands during the 19th century.[62] This was the result of Japanese being hybridised with island English, resulting in a mixed language that can still be heard.[63]

The Ogasawara Village municipality operates public elementary and junior high schools, while Tokyo Metropolitan Government Board of Education operates Ogasawara High School.[64]

Fictional referencesEdit

The Bonins have been referenced in a number of works of fiction. Bonin by Robert Standish describes itself as 'a novel', but claims 'this book is an accurate history of the Bonin Islands', based mainly on information from Nathaniel Savory's great-granddaughter, and includes descriptions of maltreatment of the Anglo-Polynesian population by the later Japanese settlers and authorities and a detailed map of the Chichijima group (on the back end-paper), including over 50 English place-names.[65]

Chapter XVI of Jack London's autobiographical novel John Barleycorn says "This isolated group, belonging to Japan, had been selected as the rendezvous of the Canadian and American sealing fleets", and describes the drunken visit of a young sailor and his shipmates to the Bonin Islands.[66]

In the television series The Super Dimension Fortress Macross, a fictional island in the chain, South Ataria Island (which would have laid at the southernmost position in the chain, surpassing Minami Iwo Jima), is the landing site of the SDF-1 Macross.[67]

In the 1963 film Matango, a luxury yacht is set adrift and lands on an island. Upon approaching the island, one of the crew members shouts: "I wonder if it's the Bonin Islands?"[68] The English subtitles for the film misspell Bonin "Bonan".[citation needed]

The 2017 anime film The Irregular at Magic High School: The Movie – The Girl Who Summons the Stars takes place on fictional islands in the Bonins.[69]

GalleryEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

CitationsEdit

  1. ^ Yoshida, Reiji (2018-07-12). "Ogasawara Islands: Remote witnesses on the front lines of Japanese history". The Japan Times Online. ISSN 0447-5763. Retrieved 2019-09-25.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Coppock, Mike (21 January 2021). "American Outpost at Japan's Front Door". American History. Arlington, Virginia: HistoryNet LLC.
  3. ^ 小笠原・火山(硫黄)列島の歴史
  4. ^ Welsch, Bernhard. (2004). "Was Marcus Island Discovered by Bernardo de la Torre in 1543?" Journal of Pacific History, 39:1, 109–122.
  5. ^ Tanaka, Hiroyuki (1993). "Edo Jidai ni okeru Nihonjin no Mujin Tou (Ogasawara Tou) ni tai-suru Ninshiki" ("The Ogasawara Islands in Tokugawa Japan"). Archived 2007-12-25 at the Wayback Machine Kaiji Shi Kenkyuu(Journal of the Maritime History). No. 50, June, 1993.
  6. ^ a b Rüegg, Jonas (2017). "Mapping the Forgotten Colony: The Ogasawara Islands and the Tokugawa Pivot to the Pacific". Cross-Currents, vol. 6(2). pp. 440–490. Retrieved November 24, 2018.
  7. ^ WorldCat, Sangoku Tsūran Zusetsu; alternate romaji Sankoku Tsūran Zusetsu
  8. ^ Cullen, Louis M. (2003). A History of Japan, 1582–1941: Internal and External Worlds, p. 137., p. 137, at Google Books
  9. ^ Morris-Suzuki, Tessa. (1998). Re-inventing Japan: Time, Space, Nation, p. 24., p. 24, at Google Books; Kublin, Hyman. "The Discovery of the Bonin Islands: A Reexamination", Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Vol. 43, Issue 1 (March 1, 1953). pp. 27–46.
  10. ^ James R. Moriarty III; William R. Roberts (1975). "Between Cipango and Quivira: The legends of Rica de Oro y Rica de Plata and the Islas del Armenio". Southern California Quarterly. 57 (3): 229.
  11. ^ Beechey, Frederick William (1831). Narrative of a voyage to the Pacific and Beering's Strait, to co-operate with the polar expeditions: performed in His Majesty's ship Blossom, under the command of Captain F.W. Beechey, R.N., F.R.S. &c. in the years 1825, 26, 27, 28. London: H. Colburn and R. Bentley. pp. 237–240.
  12. ^ Rein, J. J. (1884). Japan: Travel and Researches, pp.533-534.
  13. ^ a b c d Chapman, David (2016). The Bonin Islanders, 1830 to the Present: Narrating Japanese Nationality. London: Routledge. p. 27. ISBN 978-2015049366.
  14. ^ The National Cyclopaedia of Useful Knowledge, Vol.II,, (1847) London, Charles Knight, p.205.
  15. ^ Oldman, W. O. (December 1944). "Historical Relic". The Journal of the Polynesian Society. 53 (4): 211. JSTOR 20702990.
  16. ^ Notes on the Bonin Islands, Michael Quin, Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London, Vol. 26, (1856), pp. 232–235, Blackwell Publishing on behalf of The Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers)
  17. ^ Coppock, p. 61
  18. ^ Klaproth, Julius. (1832). San kokf tsou ran to sets, ou Aperçu général des trois royaumes, pp. 256–286., p. 256, at Google Books
  19. ^ Hypa, the Centenarian Nurse, by Rev A F King, The Mission Field, 43, 415–421, 1898
  20. ^ Language and Citizenship in Japan, edited by Nanette Gottlieb, Chapter 10, p. 176.
  21. ^ National Geographic, October 1944, pp. 387–388, 404.
  22. ^ "父島の宿". Retrieved 2007-09-05.
  23. ^ Société Anonyme (1972). Société Anonyme (the First Museum of Modern Art, 1920–1944): Monographs. Arno Press. p. 87. ISBN 978-0-405-00772-9. Retrieved 2013-05-20.
  24. ^ a b Welch, Jeanie M. "Without a Hangman, Without a Rope: Navy War Crimes Trials After World War II," Archived 2019-11-03 at the Wayback Machine International Journal of Naval History. Vol. 1, No. 1 (April 2002).
  25. ^ "Story of George H. W. Bush World War II Experience". CNN. December 20, 2003.
  26. ^ "George Herbert Walker Bush". Naval History and Heritage Command. United States Department of the Navy. 19 August 2019.
  27. ^ Nicol, C. W., ""The far-out Ogasawaras", Japan Times, 7 August 2011, p. 10.
  28. ^ J. Bradshaw, "Review of English on the Bonin (Ogasawara) Islands",Language Documentation and Conservation v2, n1 (June 2008), pp. 176–8
  29. ^ Trumbull, Robert. "Bonin Islanders Seek U.S. Tie But Remain International Pawns; Descendants of Americans Ask Citizenship in Vain—Fight Return of Japanese," New York Times. March 11, 1956.
  30. ^ a b Japan Times. "Ogasawara Islands Join World Heritage family". Retrieved 26 June 2011.
  31. ^ Experience the distinctive cuisine of Ogasawara, born from its uncommon island environment
  32. ^ Freeman, Otis W. (1951). Geography of the Pacific, pp. 229–235.
  33. ^ "Bonin Islands," Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved July 06, 2009.
  34. ^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Tōkyō" in Japan Encyclopedia, pp. 981–982 at Google Books; in "Kantō" p. 479 at Google Books
  35. ^ a b coral reefs Archived April 10, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  36. ^ "Nishinoshima Continues to Grow". Earth Observatory. NASA. 24 June 2015. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  37. ^ "気象庁|過去の気象データ検索". jma.go.jp.
  38. ^ "気象庁|過去の気象データ検索". jma.go.jp.
  39. ^ Yamaoka, Fumiko (May 12, 2007). "Saving an endangered bird in 'Orient's Galápagos'". The Japan Times.
  40. ^ a b "Ogasawara subtropical moist forests". Encyclopedia of Earth. Acccessed 28 July 2020. [1]
  41. ^ "Japanese Researchers Capture Giant Squid". Fox News. 2006-12-22. Archived from the original on 2007-08-26. Retrieved 2007-09-06.
  42. ^ "Bonin Islands" Avibase – Bird Checklists of the World. BirdLife International. Accessed 27 July 2020. [2]
  43. ^ Vincenot, C. (2017). "Pteropus pselaphon". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2017: e.T18752A22085351. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-2.RLTS.T18752A22085351.en.
  44. ^ "Ogasawara subtropical moist forests". Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund. Retrieved 2008-01-17.
  45. ^ Chiba, Satoshi (1999). "Accelerated Evolution of Land Snails Mandarina in the Oceanic Bonin Islands: Evidence from Mitochondrial Dna Sequences". Evolution. 53 (2): 460–471. doi:10.1111/j.1558-5646.1999.tb03781.x. ISSN 1558-5646. PMID 28565404.
  46. ^ Chiba, Satoshi; Cowie, Robert H. (November 2016). "Evolution and Extinction of Land Snails on Oceanic Islands". Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics. 47 (1): 123–141. doi:10.1146/annurev-ecolsys-112414-054331. ISSN 1543-592X.
  47. ^ a b "おがさわら丸 (Ogasawara Maru)". 2022.
  48. ^ "Super High Speed Ship (Techno Super Liner) for Ogasawara Line Naming and Launching Ceremony". Archived from the original on 2007-09-26. Retrieved 2007-08-24.
  49. ^ "Japan pulls plug on Techno Superliner". Retrieved 2007-08-24.
  50. ^ Tōkyōto Sōmukyoku Santama Tōsho Taisakushitsu Ogasawara Shinkōka, ed. (1983). Ogasawara Shotō Kōkūro Kaihatsu Chōsa Hōkusho : Ogasawara Shotō no Shinkōjiritsu no tameni [Ogasawara Island Airlines Development Study Report: For the Independence of the Ogasawara Islands] (in Japanese). Tokyo Metropolitan Government.
  51. ^ Tōkyōto Sōmukyoku, ed. (1985). Ogasawara Shotō Kōkūro Kaihatsu Chōsa Hōkusho : Ogasawara Shotō no Kōkūjuyō Yosoku [Ogasawara Island Airlines Development Study Report: Estimated Air Transportation Demand for Ogasawara Islands] (in Japanese). Tokyo Metropolitan Government.
  52. ^ Tōkyōto Sōmukyoku, ed. (1987). Ogasawara Shotō Kōkūro Kaihatsu Chōsa (sono 2) Hōkusho : Shūkō Kizai tō Chōsa oyobi Kūkō Kensetsu-an Sakutē Chōsa [Ogasawara Island Airlines Development Study Report: Survey of Air Service Equipment and others with Study on Planning Airport Construction] (in Japanese). Tokyo Metropolitan Government.
  53. ^ Ogasawara kūkō kensetsu kēkaku tō senmon iinkai (1998). Tōkyōto Sōmukyoku Gyōseibu Chiiki Shinkōka (ed.). Ogasawara kūkō kensetsu kēkaku tō ni kansuru teigen [Recommendations on Ogasawara Airport Construction] (in Japanese). Tokyo Metropolitan Government.
  54. ^ a b c "小笠原に垂直離着陸可能な「ティルトローター機」案…滑走路500m、環境に配慮". Yomiuri. August 2, 2020. Archived from the original on October 27, 2020.
  55. ^ Agne, ed. (1987). "Ogasawara kūkō kensetsu no henkō motomeru / Nihon Seitai Gakkai dai 24-kai sōkai" [Petition to Change Ogasawara Airport Construction / 24th General Meeting, Ecological Society of Japan]. Gijutsu to Ningen (in Japanese). 24 (10 (262)): 6–7. ISSN 0285-5186. OCLC 835524887.
  56. ^ "Tokushū—Ogasawara no shizen to kūkō kensetsu kēkaku" [Special edition—Nature on Ogasawara and airport construction plan]. Chiri (in Japanese). 34 (11): 21–68. November 1989. ISSN 0577-9308. OCLC 551698617.
  57. ^ McCormack, Gavan (August 1999). "Dilemmas of Development on The Ogasawara Islands". Japan Policy Research Institute. Archived from the original on 2013-01-16. Retrieved 2008-01-17.
  58. ^ "Minister Marukawa of Environment Ministry seeks progress "Cooperation in Construction" for Ogasawara Airport". Nihon Keizai Shinbun. 2016-06-26. Retrieved 2017-10-12.
  59. ^ "Ogasawara kōkūro, kūkō kensetsu-an jiku ni kentō—Tōkyōto ga hōshin" [Tokyo Metropolitan Government suggested policy with the Airport Construction Plan on Ogasawara Island] (in Japanese). Asahi Shimbun. 2017-07-27. Retrieved 2017-10-12.
  60. ^ "「小笠原に空港整備」測量で都が実現性検討へ" ["To Ogasawara Airport maintenance" feasibility study by survey] (in Japanese). Yomiuri Shimbun. 2019-01-10. Archived from the original on 2019-07-24. Retrieved 2019-07-24.
  61. ^ "支庁の案内: 管内概要 (Japanese)". 2021-04-01. Retrieved 2022-06-16.
  62. ^ Long, Daniel; Peter Trudgill (2004). "The Last Yankee in the Pacific: Eastern New England Phonology in the Bonin Islands". American Speech. 79 (4): 356–367. doi:10.1215/00031283-79-4-356. S2CID 145388563.
  63. ^ Long, Daniel (2007). English on the Bonin (Ogasawara) Islands. Duke University Press. ISBN 978-0-8223-6671-3.
  64. ^ "Chichi-jima". ogasawara-h.metro.tokyo.jp.
  65. ^ Standish, Robert (pseudonym of Digby George Gerahty). (1943). Bonin: A Novel, London: Peter Davies.
  66. ^ London, Jack (1913). "John Barleycorn (London)/Chapter XVI". John Barleycorn – via Wikisource.
  67. ^ Macross Compendium Atlas Listing
  68. ^ Matango – 00:17
  69. ^ Morrissy, Kim (June 20, 2017). "The irregular at magic high school The Movie: The Girl Who Summons the Stars - Review". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on May 16, 2022. Retrieved May 16, 2022.

BibliographyEdit

External linksEdit