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Updated:March 20, 2013

Unique Amami Nature and Culture

This introduces some of Amami’s unique nature and culture.


Genuine Amami Ohshima Tsumugi Cloth

With over 1,300 years of history, this high-class woven fabric is noted for its elaborate splashed-pattern texture weave and its use of dyes containing mud rich in Amami’s special iron ores and the Teechi tree (Rhaphiolepis umbellata)

August Dance

This dance is held every August in the old lunar calendar to thank the gods for a rich harvest. Men and women form a circle, and chant songs as they dance to the tempo of the unique Amami drum, the Chijin.

Shimauta (Community Songs)

Noted for their use of falsetto and words unchanged since ancient times, these songs have been sung in each village for many centuries.

Typical Local Foods

Keihan rice, Abura-Zomen noodles, Wanfune (pork bones), Tobinya shellfish, Sea lettuce tempura, etc.

Amami Rabbit

Called a “living fossil” as it retains many very primitive features. It has short ears and its limbs are also short and sturdy.

Amami Woodcock

Squatter in shape than other snipes, and with shorter legs.

Ryukyu Ayu-fish

The silver-white belly and the yellow stripes near the pectoral fins make this a brilliant fish.

Habu snakes

Extremely venomous, these are one of the most poisonous snakes in Japan.

Rhododendron amamiense

This small tree, which grows in sub-tropical virgin forests, has white flowers with a touch of pale peach.

Modama Giant Beans

The world’s largest legume.

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