Ogasawara Islanders

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The Ogasawara Islanders (欧米系, Ōbeikei lit. Westerners[1]), also Bonin Islanders, are a Euronesian ethnic group native to Japan. They are culturally and genetically distinct from the Yamato, the Ainu, and the Ryukyuans as they are the modern-day descendants of Europeans, White Americans, Polynesians, and Kanaks who settled Hahajima and Chichijima in the 18th century.

Ogasawara Islanders
Regions with significant populations
Ogasawara Islands, United States
Bonin English, Japanese, American English
Christianity, Buddhism, Shintoism
Related ethnic groups
Austronesians, White Americans, Europeans, Native Hawaiians


The first documented incident of human occupation of the Ogasawara Islands took place in 1830, when Nathaniel Savory, a White American from Massachusetts, settled the island of Chichijima. He was accompanied by Matteo Mazzaro, an Italian, who would serve as governor of the island, John Millencamp, an American, Henry Webb, an Englishman, Charles Robinson, also English, Joachin Gonzalez, a Portuguese man, and approximately twenty Native Hawaiians, whose personal names were not recorded. Though Savory was American, his expedition has been commissioned by British forces, making it a British settlement.[2]


  • Savory (rendered as Sebori in Japanese)[3]
  • Robinson
  • Washington
  • Gilley[4][5]
  • Gonzalez[6]


  1. ^ "Reflections on Ogasawara: Remote Islands with American and Japanese Identities". nippon.com. 2018-06-25. Retrieved 2019-02-11.
  2. ^ "Chichi Navy Brochure". members.tripod.com. Retrieved 2019-02-11.
  3. ^ Corporation), NHK (Japan Broadcasting. "The Ogasawara Islands: A Multicultural Heritage | Japanology Plus - TV - NHK WORLD - English". /nhkworld/en/tv/japanologyplus/. Retrieved 2019-02-11.
  4. ^ "Ogasawara islanders look back on years of war separation:The Asahi Shimbun". The Asahi Shimbun. Retrieved 2019-02-11.
  5. ^ Agency, VII Photo (2017-03-16). "Ogasawara, the Mother Islands: An Uncounted Story of the American-Japanese Community in the…". Medium. Retrieved 2019-02-11.
  6. ^ Fackler, Martin (2012-06-09). "Fewer Westerners Remain on Remote Japanese Island". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-02-11.