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Repatriated maps at local museum

Date Posted: 2001-12-27

Portions of six 18th-century maps missing from Okinawa for over 50 years have gone on display at the Okinawa Prefectural Museum in Naha’s Shuri district. Believed to be part of a 25-piece set, the maps are estimated to date from the late 1700s. Five of the pieces detailing the Ryukyu Kingdom were recently returned to Okinawa by the Ryukyu America Historical Research Society after having been taken from the island by an American soldier at the end of World War II. One map that charts Iheya Island has been part of the museum’s collection since before reversion of Okinawa to Japan in 1972, although it is unclear how the prefectural government obtained it. Authorities speculate that it was found in Naha by an American soldier due to a notation on back that reads, “From Shuri Castle.”

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