Draft:Ryukyu Islands

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The Ryukyu Islands (琉球, Ryūkyū or Ruuchuu) are a group of islands in East Asia. It's located south of Kyushu and north of Taiwan Chinese Taipei.

While it's politically a part of Japan, most of the Ryukyu Islands are inhabited by the Ryukyuan people, an indigenous ethnic group with their own cultures, languages and beliefs. The Ryukyuans were also once an independent country called the Ryukyu Kingdom, but were anschlussed by the Japanese Empire in 1879.

Today, the Ryukyu Islands are a part of two Japanese prefectures; Okinawa Prefecture and Kagoshima Prefecture. Okinawa in particular is known for being the birthplace of karate, being the "Hawaii of Japan" and for having an excessive amount of US military bases (something the locals aren't very fond of).[1]