小笠原について

History

The earliest opening of ocean beach to swimmers

Ogasawara Islands are said to have been discovered by Sadayori Ogasawara, the great grandson of Nagatoki Ogasawara, the castellan of Shinshu Fukashi (Matsumoto), in 1593. The first immigrants were five Europeans and 15 Hawaiians who had come to Ogasawara in 1830.

Ogasawara was internationally recognized as part of Japan in 1876. In about 1920s, the cultivation of fruits and winter vegetables flourished, and fishery of oceanic bonito and tuna as well as whaling and coral fishing were conducted.

The population exceeded 7,000 and Ogasawara reached the height of its prosperity.

Because of the World War II, however, the abundant and peaceful islands had changed drastically. In 1944, in all the people living on the islands, except for 825 civilian employees, 6,886 were forced to leave for the mainland. On Iwoto, the Japanese army suffered a crushing defeat, and 28,721 people of both the U.S. and Japan were killed.

After the WWII, Ogasawara was placed under the rule of U.S. army. All the citizen of the islands had not been allowed to come back to the islands until 1968, when the Ogasawara Islands were returned to Japan. In April 1979, the village go vernment was established, and new villagemaking had started to be the village living with nature.

There remains the remnants of the interaction with the peoples of Micronesia in Ogasawara, and it has the culture and attractiveness peculiar to the south islands.Nanyo dance and urame and yoakemae ("Before dawn") sung in the dance, dry rhythm of kaka between dances and the sound of Ogasawara taiko which had come down with the immigrants from Hachijojima are very popular as well as Ogasawara hula which was born in 1997.

Takonoha zaiku, the folk art made with the leaves of Takonoki, the endemic speciesin Ogasawara, is very good for souvenir.