Making a much greater impact than the Europeans, were the Japanese, who took over
the islands in about 1900. The Japanese were the first foreign group in recent history
to settle the islands and they did so in huge numbers, making up over half of the
total population within only about 20 years. The Japanese changed the dynamic, from
organized farming of new crops to technology, foods, and dress that were unknown
prior to their settlement. World War II saw the end of Japanese settlement on the
islands, but Japanese influence remained in many ways.
Today the islands are again primarily ethnically Micronesian and much of the culture
and lifestyle remain rooted in their history, the lands, and the seas. Local island
communities, languages, and cultures dominate most people's lives as the lands
and seas continue to be at the core of life. However, the many technological introductions
have made an impact, as have foreign goods and beliefs.