The Ryukyu Islands are part of the Nansei Islands. The largest of the islands is Okinawa Island. The islands have a subtropical climate with warm winters and hot summers. Precipitation is very high, and is affected by the rainy season and typhoons. The archipelago is home to the Ryukyuan languages. The original dialects are native to each island and distinct from one another.
The Ryukyu Kingdom was once an independent kingdom. In the early 17th century, the Satsuma clan invaded Ryukyu (Okinawa), eventually became part of Japan.