Two shipwrecked sailors who were picked up by Beechey in 1827 suggested that the island would make a good stopover station for whalers, and settlement was begun in 1830. The settlement was lead in May 1830 by thirty-six year old Nathaniel Savory along with twenty-two other adventurous men and woman via a three-thousand mile long trip from Pearl Harbor to the beautiful island of Chichi Jima to found his whaling supply enterprise. In 1854, the Rodgers-Ringgold expedition encountered rats and feral goats, sheep, dogs and cats (feral pigs were already found by Kittlitz and may have been left by Beechey to provision possible future castaways).
Possibly as a result of the introduction of alien animals, at least three species of birds became extinct: the Bonin Nankeen Night Heron, Bonin Grosbeak a finch, and Bonin Thrush. The island was the only known home of the thrush and probably the finch, although the heron was found on Nakōdo-jima (also "Nakoudo-" or, erroneously, "Nakondo-") as well. The existence of the birds was documented by von Kittlitz in 1828, and five stuffed thrushes are in European museums.
The Bonin Wood-pigeon died out in the late Nineteenth century, apparently as the result of deforestation or the introduction of alien mammals or from both causes. The species is known to have existed only on Chichi-jima and another island, Nakōdo-jima.
Chichi Jima was also the subject of a book by James Bradley entitled Flyboys: A True Story of Courage, a factual account of the lives of a group of World War II fighter pilots including George H. W. Bush. In the book, it tells the story of United States Navy pilots who bombed the island's two radio stations. The book details the stories of the pilots that were captured, tortured, killed, and in some cases, partially eaten.
The island was never captured and surrendered with the Japanese Empire. After the surrender some of the senior officers were court-martialled and punished according to the class "B" war crimes standard.
Nobuaki "Warren" Iwatake, a Japanese American from Hawaii who was drafted into the Japanese army while living with his family back in Hiroshima, is known for his service in the Japanese Imperial Army at Chichi Jima.
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) also maintains a facility on Chichi-jima. The Ogasawara Downrange Station at Kuwanokiyama, was established in 1975 as a National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA) facility. The Station is equipped with radar (rocket telemeter antenna and precision radar antenna) to check the flight trajectories, status, and safety of rockets launched from the Tanegashima Space Center (TNSC).
Chichi Jima houses a facility on the edge of Futami Harbor dedicated to the restoration of sea turtle populations that have been decimated due to human activity. Infant turtles are raised at the facility until they have reached a certain bodymass, at which point they are released into the wild; newly-hatched turtles face enormous risks of predation, and the facility believes their efforts increase the turtles' chances of survival. Additionally, the facility maintains half a dozen adult sea turtles on site.