This article is about the Japanese administrative area. For other uses of the term Okinawa, please see Okinawa (disambiguation).
Okinawa prefecture (沖縄県 Okinawa-ken) is a subtropical area of Japan consisting of many of the Ryukyu Islands (南西諸島 Nansai Shotoo 'Southwest Islands'). Its population was 1,368,000 in 2006.
Okinawa prefecture shares its name with its largest island, Okinawa (沖縄本島 Okinawa-hontoo) and one of its cities, Okinawa (沖縄市 Okinawa-shi).
Okinawa and the other Ryukyu Islands are home to the Ryukyuan languages (琉球語 Ryuukyugo) and people (ウチナンチュ Uchinanchu, written in the Japanese script), who are a separate ethnic group within Japan. The eleven languages of this group are not mutually comprehensible with modern Japanese.