[oh-kuh-nou-wuh, -nah-wuh; Japanese aw-kee-nah-wah] /ˌoʊ kəˈnaʊ wə, -ˈnɑ wə; Japanese ˈɔ kiˈnɑ wɑ/

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.
Okinawa [(oh-kuh-nah-wuh, oh-kuh-now-uh)]

Island in the western Pacific Ocean; part of Japan.

Note: During World War II, American forces seized the island from Japan in a particularly bloody campaign. It was returned to Japan in 1972.


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