Culture and History

The history of the Amami group of islands stands out among the histories of other such regions in the world. Hunting and gathering continued for a long period in spite of the unforgiving island environment, and trade in Great Green Turban shells also thrived in ancient times. The islands came under control of the Ryukyu Kingdom during the Medieval Ages, only to become territories forced to engage in oppressive sugarcane farming afterward when they fell under direct control of the feudal Satsuma clan in modern times. More recently, fortresses of the former Imperial Japanese Army and Navy were located throughout the islands during World War II, after which the Amami Islands were administrated under the United states Military Government of the Ryukyu Islands for 8 years.
Such history affected the culture of the islands, which flexibly integrated Ryukyu and Yamato norms even as it produced a wealth of profound, distinctively Amamian culture that hints at the heart of our ancestors.