Amakusa Islands

Amakusa Islands

(ämäko͞o`sä), archipelago, c.340 sq mi (880 sq km), Kumamoto and Kagoshima prefectures, in the East China Sea, off W Kyushu, Japan. There are about 70 islands in the group. Shimo, the largest island, is the site of Hondo, which is the chief town. The interior of the islands is rugged; the coastal lowlands are fertile. Timber, oranges, fish, porcelain, and pearls are the principal products. Amakusa clansmen made the islands a major center of Christianity in the 16th cent. Villages and historical relics of this period are found in Unzen-Amakusa National Park.
References in periodicals archive ?
An uprising on the nearby Amakusa Islands quickly spread to the Matsukura territory of Shimabara.
Born a living god, Hirohito became a marine biologist and botanist and published nine successful books with titles such as Some Hydroids of the Amakusa Islands and The Crabs of Sagami Bay.
Amakusa airport in the Amakusa Islands, Kumamoto Prefecture, officially opened Thursday with an inaugural flight departing for Fukuoka airport in Fukuoka Prefecture.
Both works present the women of the Amakusa Islands who left to work overseas as products of chronic poverty.
Despite the difference in the conclusions, both interpretations present the amakusa onna/karayuki-san as a phenomenon confined geographically, in terms of their origins, to the Amakusa Islands. This automatically classified the karayuki-san as a minority, an abnormality, existing on the periphery of the assumed norms of mainstream society and history.
Both ascribe a very specific and historically limited identity to the karayuki-san, as a phenomenon confined to the Amakusa Islands. This specific, constructed identity also acts as a guarantor against other possible explanations of who and what the karayuki-san were.
The Amakusa women's "physical constitution toughened by hardship" made them able to "adapt to different climates and topographies," almost as if "natural." The nature of Mori's empirical evidence, and the way he utilizes it, present the karayuki-san as being specific to the Amakusa Islands. The women are depicted as objects possessing certain qualities that serve as markers of their true individuality, as distinguishable from other women.
Contrary to Mori's argument, the practice of women migrating overseas was not confined to the Amakusa Islands. For example, by the middle of the Meiji period, in all the open ports of Japan there existed kuchi-ireya (employment agencies).