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[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).
Related forms
Okinawan, adjective, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for Okinawa


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)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for Okinawa

largest of the Ryuku island chain, Japanese, literally "rope on the sea." Related: Okinawan.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Okinawa in Culture
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.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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