In 1879, Koga Tatsushiro went to Naha city to start business in Okinawa, opening a branch office on Ishigakijima Island in 1882 and sending his people to the Senkaku Islands in 1884. This information is given in the historical documents submitted by Koga when he was awarded a Blue Ribbon Medal of Honor in 1910. (Ref. 1)
In 1895, Koga rigged out a ship and visited Kuba Island himself, receiving permission to develop the island in 1896. He sent 35 people, fishermen and others, to the island in 1897 where they conducted a variety of activities, including harvesting yakogai sea snails, catching seabirds for their down, and catching bonito and processing them into dried bonito flakes. These activities took place on Uotsuri Island, Kuba Island, Kitakojima Island, and Minamikojima Island and it is recorded that at one time the total population reached 248 people in 99 dwellings. (Ref. 1)
Supplement: Photograph shows Koga Village.
Uotsuri Island as developed by Koga. (Photograph provided by Naha City Museum of History.)
Monument built by the Koga Association to commemorate Koga's development of the islands.
(Ishigaki City: photograph taken by OPRF Center for Island Studies.)
Ref.1 ："Nihon teikoku hosho no ki: Koga Tatsushiro e ranju hosho kashi no ken"
(Record of Medals Awarded by Imperial Japan: Award of Blue Ribbon Medal of Honor to Koga Tatsushiro), in Kobun zassan
(Miscellaneous Official Records) Naikaku 4 (1909), National Archives of Japan.
"Senkaku Retto dai 2 shu" (The Senkaku Islands Second Feature), in Kikan Okinawa
(Okinawa Quarterly) 63 (December 31, 1972), pp.138-157.
Kikan Okinawa is the journal of Nanpo Doho Engokai (Assistance Association for Okinawa and Ogasawara Islands).
Japan's Island Territories
Senkaku Islands Facts & Figures
Takeshima Facts & Figures
Northern Territories Facts & Figures