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Iwo Jima, officially Iōtō (硫黄島?, listen (help·info): "sulfur island"), is an island of the Japanese Volcano Islands chain, which lie south of the Ogasawara Islands and together with them form the Ogasawara Archipelago. The island is located 650 nautical miles (750 mi; 1,200 km) south of mainland Tokyo and administered as part of Ogasawara, one of eight villages of Tokyo (but is presently uninhabited). It is famous as the setting of the February–March 1945 Battle of Iwo Jima between the United States and the Empire of Japan during World War II. The island grew in recognition in the west when the iconic photograph Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima was taken during the battle. The U.S. occupied Iwo Jima until 1968, when it was returned to Japan.

In 1779, the island was charted as Sulphur Island, the literal translation of its official name, during Captain James Cook's third surveying voyage.

Iwo Jima was traditionally called Iwōtō (Iōtō) by the Japanese. Before Japan's 1946 orthography reform, a historical spelling resulted in (approximately) Iwōtō (modern Iōtō). An alternative, Iwōjima (modern Iōjima)—where jima is an alternative pronunciation of tō (島, island?)—also appeared in nautical atlases. Japanese naval officers who arrived to fortify the island before the U.S. invasion mistakenly called it Iwo Jima. In this way, the "Iwo Jima" pronunciation became mainstream and was the one used by U.S. forces who arrived during World War II. Former island residents protested against this rendering, and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport's Geographical Survey Institute debated the issue and formally announced on June 18, 2007, that the official Japanese pronunciation of the island's name would be reverted to the pre-war Iōtō. Moves to revert the pronunciation were sparked by the high profile films Flags of Our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima. The change does not affect how the name is written in kanji (硫黄島?), only how it is pronounced or written in hiragana, katakana and rōmaji.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Iwo Jima."
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