Shikoku ("four provinces") is the smallest (225 km or 139.8 mi long and between 50 and 150 km or 31.1 and 93.2 mi wide) and least populous (4,141,955 as of 2005) of the four main islands of Japan, located south of Honshū and east of the island of Kyūshū. Its ancient names include Iyo-no-futana-shima (伊予之二名島), Iyo-shima (伊予島), and Futana-shima (二名島). The current name refers to the four former provinces that made up the island: Awa, Tosa, Sanuki, and Iyo.
Shikoku in Joe Steele
During Operation: Downfall the island of Shikoku had been heavily bombed but had been bypassed in the invasion. As such, the inhabitants did not feel beaten the way those on Kyushu and Honshu did. However, American soldiers preferred to go on leave to Shikoku since it had not been fought over on the ground the way the other Home Islands had been. There was the threat of Japanese diehards taking pot shots or firing a knee mortar at concentrations of American soldiers but MPs and the shore patrol tried to minimize the risk. Sgt. Mike Sullivan and Cpl. Dick Shirakawa were returning from leave on Shikoku when the Japanese War broke out.
- Joe Steele, pg. 332, HC.
- Ibid, pgs. 349-352.