Okinawa Island (沖縄本島 Okinawa-hontō?, alternatively 沖縄島 Okinawa-jima; Okinawan: ウチナ- Uchinaa; Kunigami: フチナ- Fuchinaa) is the largest of the Okinawa Islands and the Ryukyu (Nansei) Islands of Japan. The island has an area of 1,201.03 square kilometers (463.72 sq mi). It is roughly 640 kilometres (400 mi) south of the rest of Japan. The city of Naha, the capital of Okinawa Prefecture, is located there. The island's population is known as the longest-lived people in the World, together with the Sardinians whose island is located in the Mediterranean sea; there are 34 centenarians per 100,000 people, which is more than three times the rate in Japan.
The time when human beings first appeared in Okinawa remains unknown. They may have arrived from the Chinese mainland 32,000 years ago, possibly via land bridge. Since that time, there have probably been immigrants from Japan, Australia, and elsewhere.
Okinawa midden culture or shell heap culture is divided into the early shell heap period. In the former, it was a hunter-gatherer society, with wave-like opening Jomon pottery. In the latter part of Jomon period, archaeological sites moved near the seashore, suggesting the engagement of people in fishery. In Okinawa, rice was not cultivated during the Yayoi period but began during the latter period of shell-heap age. Shell rings for arms made of shells obtained in the Sakishima Islands, namely Miyakojima and Yaeyama islands, were imported by Japan. In these islands, the presence of shell axes, 2500 years ago, suggests the influence of a southeastern-Pacific culture.