Taketomi Island

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Taketomi Island
Native name: 竹富島
Taketomi-jima
Taketomi Island.jpg
Street on Taketomi Island
Taketomi Island is located in Japan
Taketomi Island
Geography
Location Pacific Ocean
Archipelago Ryukyu Islands (Yaeyama Islands)
Area 5.42 km2 (2.09 sq mi)
Length 3.4 km (2.11 mi)
Width 2.7 km (1.68 mi)
Highest elevation 21 m (69 ft)
Country
Japan
Prefecture Okinawa Prefecture
District Yaeyama District
Town Taketomi
Demographics
Population 323 (as of January 2012)
Additional information
Official website http://www.taketomi-islands.jp/

Taketomi Island (竹富島 Taketomi-jima?, Yaeyama: Teedun Okinawan: Dakidun) is an island in the Yaeyama District of Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. Taketomi is one of the Yaeyama Islands.[1][2][3] The population of Taketomi Island was 323 as of January 2012.[4]

Geography[edit]

Taketomi Island is located 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) south of Ishigaki Island. The island has a village in the center, also named Taketomi. The island covers 5.42 square kilometres (2.09 sq mi), and runs 2.7 kilometres (1.7 mi) east to west and 3.4 kilometres (2.1 mi) north to south.[3] Taketomi is a raised coral atoll.[2] The island is circular in shape, and is surrounded by coral reefs.[1] Taketomi Island is part of Iriomote-Ishigaki National Park, established in 1972.[3]

Taketomi is known for its "traditional Okinawan" houses, stone walls, and sandy streets, making it popular with tourists. Various rules are in place to prevent the more aesthetically displeasing aspects of modern construction from ruining the beauty of the island, such as replacing concrete walls with hand-packed stone. Popular tourist activities include relaxing at the beach, snorkeling, taking an ox-cart ride through the village, and simply walking or biking around the island while enjoying the quaintness of the village and the natural scenery.

It is recognized in academics that Taketomi's "traditional" landscape is a modern product. Today Taketomi's houses are known for visually appealing red-tiled roofs. However, commoners were prohibited from building houses with roof tiles by Ryūkyū on Okinawa until its abolishment. The red-roofed house first appeared on Taketomi Island in 1905 and remained a symbol of wealth for decades. As late as in 1964, truly traditional thatched houses accounted for 40% of Taketomi's houses. Red-tiled roofs spread in parallel with the conservation movement.[5][6]

The island is also famous for its beautiful beaches and hoshizuna or hoshisuna, meaning "star-sand", which is composed of the remains of Foraminifera.[1]

Economy[edit]

The principle industries of Taketomi Island are tourism and the production of sugarcane.[1][2]

Transportation[edit]

Taketomi Island is accessible by a ten-minute boat ride from Ishigaki Island. All areas of the island are within walking distance. There are also various places to rent bicycles in the village.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Taketomijima". Encyclopedia of Japan. Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. OCLC 56431036. Retrieved 2012-10-19. 
  2. ^ a b c "竹富島" [Taketomi Island]. Dijitaru Daijisen (in Japanese). Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. OCLC 56431036. Retrieved 2012-10-19. 
  3. ^ a b c "竹富島" [Taketomi Island]. Nihon Rekishi Chimei Taikei (in Japanese). Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. OCLC 173191044. dlc 2009238904. Retrieved 2012-10-19. 
  4. ^ "竹富町地区別人口動態票(平成24年1月末)" [Population of the Town of Taketomi by Area (End of January, 2012)]. Taketomi, Okinawa Prefecture: Town of Taketomi. 2012. Retrieved Oct 19, 2012. 
  5. ^ Fukuda Tamami 福田珠己 (1996). "Akagawara wa nani o kataru ka" 赤瓦は何を語るか". Chirigaku hyōron 地理学評論 Ser. A (in Japanese) 69 (9): 727–743. 
  6. ^ Morita Shin'ya 森田真也 (1997). "Kankō to "dentō bunka" no ishikika" 観光と「伝統文化」の意識化". Nihon minzokugaku 日本民俗学 (in Japanese) (209): 33–65. 

Coordinates: 24°20′N 124°05′E / 24.333°N 124.083°E / 24.333; 124.083