- the largest of the Ryukyu Islands, in the N Pacific, SW of Japan: taken by U.S. forces April–June 1945 in the last major amphibious campaign of World War II. 544 sq. mi. (1409 sq. km).
- a coral island of SW Japan, the largest of the Ryukyu Islands in the N Pacific: scene of heavy fighting in World War II; administered by the US (1945–72); agricultural. Chief town: Naha. Pop: 1 318 218 (2000). Area: 1176 sq km (454 sq miles)
largest of the Ryuku island chain, Japanese, literally “rope on the sea.” Related: Okinawan. Island in the western Pacific Ocean; part of Japan.