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The Oki Islands are volcanic in origin, and are the exposed eroded summits of two

massive stratovolcanoes dating approximately 5 million years ago to the Tertiary


and Quaternary periods. The oldest rocks in Japan have been found on the Oki
Islands.

Dogo to the east is the largest island in area, and has the highest elevation,
Mount Daimanji, at 608 metres (1,995 ft) above sea level. The Dozen group of
islands to the west are all portions of single ancient volcanic caldera which
collapsed, leaving three large islands (Nishinoshima, Nakanoshima and Chiburijima)
and numerous smaller islands and rocks in a ring formation surrounding a central
lagoon.[2] The archipelago is approximately 80 kilometres (43 nmi) north of Honshu
coast at its closest point. For administrative purposes, the Japanese government
officially considers the disputed islet of Takeshima (Liancourt Rocks) to be a part
of the town of Okinoshima on Dogo.

Climate[edit]
Chibu
Climate chart (explanation)
J F M A M J J A S O N D
116 82
96 71
104 113
105 167
131 2012
172 2417
227 2721
124 2923
211 2518
107 2012
122 157
124 114
Average max. and min. temperatures in C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: [3]
[show]Imperial conversion
Summers (JuneAugust) average around 30 degrees Celsius plus humidity. There
usually is a strong sea breeze. The sea waves during the summer rarely exceed 2
meters.
Autumn (SeptemberNovember) is temperate. It begins to rain more often and the
waves begin to grow. The Rainbow ferry stops operating in November.
Winters (December to the end of February) are relatively mild. Temperatures rarely
drop below freezing. Also, due to the warming influence of the sea, Oki does not
get much snow. What snow there is does not lie for long because the ground is not
cold enough. The ferry is more likely to be canceled due to high waves, but it is
still possible to leave the island.
Spring (MarchMay) is generally regarded as the best season. There are many
opportunities for viewing cherry blossoms on Oki during the spring. The Rainbow
ferry starts running in March.
History[edit]

A Japanese map dating from 1724, with the Oki Islands at the lower right, Liancourt
Rocks in the center, and Ulleungdo on the left
The Oki Islands have been inhabited since the Japanese Paleolithic era, and
numerous artifacts from the Jomon, Yayoi and Kofun periods have been found by
archaeologists, indicating continuous human occupation and activity. The island
were organized as Oki Province under the Ritsuryo reforms in the latter half of the
seventh century, and the name Oki-no-kuni appears on wooden markers found in the
imperial capital of Nara. The island of Dogo is mentioned in the Nara period
chronicles Kojiki and Nihon Shoki, and Dogo Island was the location of the capital
of ancient Oki Province. During the late Heian period, due to its remoteness, Oki
Province came to known as a place for political exile. In 1221, Emperor Go-Toba was
sent to Oki, and died in exile on the islands;[4] In 1332, Emperor Go-Daigo was
also sent in exile to Oki, but later managed to escape and regain control of the
country.[5][6]

From the Kamakura period Oki Province was governed primarily by the shugo of Izumo
Province. In the Muromachi period, it was ruled successively by the Sasaki clan,
the Yamana clan and the Kyogoku clan. In the Sengoku period the Amago clan held
this province. After the Amago fell and the Tokugawa shogunate was established, Oki
Province was declared a tenryo dominion under the direct control of the Shogun. The
daimyo of Matsue Domain, belonging to the Matsudaira clan, was appointed as
governor.

The entire province had an assessed revenue of only 18,000 koku, although its
actual revenues were closer to only 12,000 koku. The province was a frequent port
of call for the Kitamaebune coastal trading ships during the Edo period.

Following the Meiji Restoration, Oki Province became "Oki Prefecture" from February
to June 1869. It was then attached to Tottori Prefecture until 1876, when it was
transferred to Shimane Prefecture.[7]

In 1892, Lafcadio Hearn visited the islands, spending a month there, and writing
about his experiences in Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan. Oki was visited by the
American naturalist Charles Henry Gilbert in 1906.[8]

Administration[edit]
The population is approximately 24,500 inhabitants spread over the four
municipalities of:

Okinoshima-cho (Okinoshima-town), includes all of Dogo and the uninhabited islets


of Okinashima, Obanashima, Tsunameshima, Shijikijima and Ombeshima, with a total
population of approximately 17,000.
Chibu-son (Chibu-village), includes all of Chiburijima and the nearby uninhabited
islets of Okagashima, Shimazujima, Asashima and Kamishima, with a total population
of about 800.
Ama-cho (Ama-town), includes all of Nakanoshima and the nearby uninhabited islets
of Omorijima and Matsushima, with a total population of about 2,600.
Nishinoshima-cho (Nishinoshima-town), includes all of Nishinoshima and nearby
uninhabited islets of Hoshikamijima, Futamatajima and Okazuroshima, population
about 3,900.[9]
Transportation[edit]
Oki Airport (airport code "OKI") lies on the southeastern part of Dogo and provides
air service to Osaka International Airport (Itami, "ITM") and Izumo Airport
("IZO").

The Oki islands can be reached by ferries from harbours like Sakaiminato, Shichirui
and Kaga on the mainland. There are also frequent ferries operating between the
Dozen islands throughout the year.