Of the Many places on this globe that were touched by the withering blast of war, I doubt if in any the life of the people has been more completely changed than on Okinawa. This long, irregularly shaped island is just less than half the size of Rhode Island. In 1940 the population (435,681) was about the same as that of Newark, New Jersey. Its subtropical climate has a mean annual temperature of about 72° F. The humidity is excessive, and the rainfall is about 83 inches per year. Of the twelve to forty-five typhoons which affect it from May to October, three to six pass directly over it, usually causing widespread damage because they coincide with the growing season. Vegetation is generally dense and hard to penetrate. Pines abound on the forested hillsides, and thickets of pandanus, the leaves of which are used in various native handicrafts, are not infrequent. Wild life consists mainly of deer and wild pigs; rats, mice, and five species of deadly venomous snakes are also found, and mosquitoes, lice, fleas, and other insect pests abound. Its mineral deposits are of little consequence, but abundant limestone, sand, and gravel supply valuable construction materials. The northernmost section of Okinawa has a central high ridge with peaks ranging up to 1,650 feet. The slopes are very steep and cut by a maze of ravines. The central section is a ruggedly hilly plateau ranging up to 500 feet. The southern section is characterized by small plains and rolling hills.' Here the largest cities are found as well as most of the population and modern facilities.

The text of this article is only available as a PDF.