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Okinawan language

Okinawan is a language spoken in Japan, on the southern island of Okinawa, as well as the surrounding islands of Kerama, Kume-jima, Tonaki, Aguni, and a number of smaller islands located to the east of the main island of Okinawa. It is part of the Ryukyuan family of languages, which along with Japanese and its dialects make up the Japonic family of languages. It is divided into three main dialects: Northern (Kunigami), Central (Standard, Shuri-Naha), and Southern. The Shuri dialect was standardized during the era of the Ryukyuan Kingdom, during the reign of king Sho Shin (1477-1526). It was the official language used by royalty and aristocracy. All of the songs and poems in the language from that era are written in the Shuri dialect.