This is the first time for me to tell you a unique ethnic minority group in Asia.
The first group is Ryukyuan People. I am quite sure you do not have specific ideas about the RyuKyuans like who are they, where are they from and where they live in?
Therefore. I hope you would take some useful information from this article.
As you can see on the map, mostly, the Rkukyuans live on the Ryukyu Islands that stretch southwest from Kyushu to Taiwan: the the Ōsumi, Tokara, Amami, Okinawa, and Sakishima Islands, with Yonaguni the westernmost.
Photo 1_This photo is from Wikipedia Commons photos
photo 2_YANIS OURABAH VIA GETTY IMAGES
Zamami, one of the Kerama Islands
The Ryukyuan people (琉球民族), more than 2.2 million, is a group of East Asian Ethnic Group. They are the current descendent of Ryukyu Islands, including Okinawa, Amami, Yaeyama, and Miyako Islands. Administratively, they live in either the Okinawa or Kagoshima Prefecture. They speak one of the Ryukyuan Languages, considered to be one of the two branches of the Japonic language family, the other being Japanese and its dialects.
They are an East Asian Ethnic Group native to the Ryukyu Islands, which stretch between the islands of Kyushu and Taiwan. Ryukyuans are not recognized minority group in Japan, as Japanese authorities consider them just a subgroup of Japanese people, akin to the Yamato people, a nation indigenous of Japanese mainland. Although officially unrecognized, Ryukyuans constitute the largest ethnolinguistic minority group in Japan, with 1.4 million living in the Okinawa prefecture alone.
Photo 3_A photo of a Japanese family from Okinawa taken in early 1900s.
(from Wikimedia Commons photo)
The first people that set foot on Okinawa, more than 30,000 years ago, might have sailed there on bamboo rafts from Taiwan, according to studies by Japanese anthropologists.
The population lived on the islands in isolation for many centuries, and in the 14th century three separate Okinawan political polities merged into the Ryukyu Kingdom (1429-1879) which continued the maritime trade and tributary relations started in 1372 with Ming(明)-dynasty China. In 1609 the Satsuma Domain (based in Kyushu) invaded the Ryukyu Kingdom. The Kingdom maintained a fictive independence in vassal status, in a dual subordinate status to both China and Japan, because Edo period of Japan was prohibited to trade (directly) with China.
During the Japanese Meiji period the kingdom became the Ryukyu Domain (1872-1879), after which it was politically annexed by the Empire of Japan. In 1879, after the annexation, the territory was reorganized as Okinawa prefecture, with the last king (Shō Tai) forcibly exiled to Tokyo. China renounced its claims to the islands in1895. During this period the Meiji government, the Ryukyuan had been affected and assimilated by mainland Japanese (Yamato), suppressed Ryukyuan ethnic identity, tradition, culture and language. After World War II, the Ryukyu Islands were occupied by the United States between 1945 and 1950 and maintained control even after the 1951 Treaty of San Francisco till 1972. During the Battle of Okinawa, many violations of human rights occurred by both troops, Japanese and U.S.A. army.
Because of the war, approximately 150,000 civilians (1/3 of the population) were killed in Okinawa alone. Since the end of World War II Ryukyuans have expressed strong resentment against the Japanese government and against US military facilities stationed in Okinawa.
Nowadays, the Ryukyuans, who live in the Islands including Okinawa, resident under the Japanese government. However, Japan government has not recognized 'Ryukyuan' as a minority group. The islands are called as the island of Peace due to reminding what was conducted to them during the Battle of Okinawa and the Occupation by U.S.A.
Since Meiji restoration, Ryukyuan ethnic identity, tradition, culture and language were suppressed by the Meiji government, which sought to assimilate the Ryukyuan people as Japanese (Yamato). Many ethnic Japanese migrated to the Ryukyu Islands and mixed with the Ryukyuan people.
Ryukyuans have a distinct culture with some matriarchal elements, native religion, and cuisine which had a fairly late, 12th century, introduction of rice.