is the second-largest island of the Ogasawara Islands or Bonin Islands south of the Japanese main island chain. It is about 21 km² in area.

The highest points are Mt. Chibusa (Chibusa-san), approximately 462m, and Mt. Sakaigatake (Sakaigatake-san), 443m. The largest island of the group, Chichi-jima ("Father Island") is approximately 50km to the North. Together with nearby smaller islands like the Elder and Younger Sister Islands Ane-jima and Imōto-jima and Mukō-jima, Haha-jima forms the Haha-jima Rettō (母島列島), Haha-jima Group, or in former times, Baily Group.

The island is within the political boundaries of Ogasawara Town, Ogasawara Subprefecture, Tokyo, Japan.


Haha-jima was originally called Coffin Island or Hillsborough Island and settled by Europeans before becoming part of Japan. In World War II, the Japanese government removed the locals and fortified the island; it was the target of several attacks by US forces during World War II. What is left of the defense works is now one of the tourist attractions of the island. The island can be reached by ferry in about 2 hours from Chichi-jima. The economy of Haha-jima is based on fishing, as well as a state-run rum distillery.

Today Haha-jima has a population of 440, but the population was 1,546 in 1904 and 1,905 in 1940. There is one road from the (now-abandoned) village of Kita (Kita-mura, 北村) at the north end of the island to the village of Oki (Oki-mura, 沖村) at the southern end of the island, where the harbor is located. Ogasawara Village operates the island's public elementary and junior high schools. Tokyo Metropolitan Government Board of Education operates Ogasawara High School on nearby Chichi-jima.


Haha-jima is noted among malacologists for its endemic land snail fauna. Due to widespread presence of invasive species like goats (which destroy habitat) and rodents, flatworms and the Rosy Wolfsnail (which eat the native snails), it was feared that many of the endemics are extinct.

But most if not all of these seem to persist on the remote Higashizaki peninsula on the eastern coast. This is a quite pristine expanse of ground, scenic but very hard to reach (one has to climb Mt. Chibusa before descending to the peninsula). It consists of sheer seacliffs surrounding a plateau with Chinese Fan Palm (Livistona chinensis), pandanus and broadleaf (e.g. Persea kobu, a wild avocado) forest, and appears to be untouched by invasive species at present. It has been proposed that access to the area should be monitored, so that visitors will not inadvertently help destroy this unique place.


All of these snails are endemic at least to the Ogasawara Islands.


Among birds, the Bonin White-eye (Apalopteron familiare), a gaudy-colored passerine, seems to occur nowhere else anymore than on Haha-jima. The extinct Bonin Grosbeak (Chaunoproctus ferreorostris) is sometimes said to have occurred in the Hahajima Group (though not on Haha-jima itself) but this seems to be false. Columba janthina nitens, the Ogasawara subspecies of the Japanese Wood-pigeon, used to occur on Haha-jima While it is not precisely known when it vanished from this island, the taxon apparently became completely extinct in the 1980s.

See also



  • (2007): Endemic Land Snail Fauna (Mollusca) on a Remote Peninsula in the Ogasawara Archipelago, Northwestern Pacific. Pacific Science 61(2): 257–265. DOI: 10.2984/1534-6188(2007)61[257:ELSFMO]2.0.CO;2 HTML abstract

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