In Japan, there are islands which are called “Oshima.” Here in Hawaii, “Oshima” island of Yamguchi Prefecture, so-called “Suo-Oshima” is the most popular island since many immigrants came from there. But there are actually 56 more islands are called “Oshima” , too, according to my research. It sounds so confusing therefore depending on the location of the island, “area name” is added to the island name “Oshima.” Among them, Amami-Oshima of Kagoshima Prefecture, Izu-Oshima of Tokyo, and Suo-Oshima of Yamaguchi Prefecture are well-known.
As you may know, “Oshima” literally means “Big Island.” “O” is abbreviation of “Ookii (big)” and “Shima” means “island.” The name “Oshima” indicates…this is a big island but what it really means, I found out, very interesting. The one called “Oshima” is not simply big, but it is the biggest among small islands near by. In order to make a distinction of the biggest island, “Oshima (Big Island)” is named.
Interestingly “Suo-Oshima” of Yamaguchi has a formal name which is “Yashiro-jima” and its nick name is “Big Island.” I haven’t researched when and who named a nick name “Big Island” to the island of Hawaii but I’m getting to believe people from “Suo-Oshima” probably named Hawaii as Big Island since this is the biggest among islands.