Kyushu


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Kyushu

(kyo͞o`sho͞o), island (1990 pop. 13,064,955), c.13,760 sq mi (35,640 sq km), S Japan. It is the third largest, southernmost, and most densely populated of the major islands of Japan. It is separated from Shikoku by the Bungo Strait and from Honshu by the Shimonoseki Strait; a railroad tunnel under the strait and a bridge link Kyushu with Honshu. Mainly of volcanic origin, the island has a mountainous interior rising to 5,886 ft (1,794 m) in Kuju-san; Aso-san, Japan's largest active volcano, is on Kyushu, and there are many hot springs. The Chikugo (88 mi/142 km long), the island's longest river, waters an extensive rice-growing area in the northwest. Kyushu has a subtropical climate and receives much precipitation. Rice, tea, tobacco, sweet potatoes, fruits, wheat, and soybeans are major crops. Coal, zinc, and copper are mined in Kyushu, and raw silk is extensively produced. The island is noted for its porcelain (Satsuma and Hizen ware). The famous Imari ware was manufactured at the ancient town of Arita. Heavy industry is concentrated in N Kyushu, near Japan's oldest coal field; Kitakyushu, Fukuoka, and Omuta are major industrial centers. Nagasaki, the chief port of Kyushu, was the first Japanese port to receive Western trade. There are four national parks on the island, and one of Japan's two space centers is located there.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Kyushu

 

a southern Japanese island. Bounded on the east by the Pacific Ocean, on the northeast by the Inland Sea of Japan, and on the west by the East China Sea. Area, about 42,000 sq km.

The southern, western, and northeastern shores of Kyushu are cut by numerous bays and gulfs; the eastern coast is straight. The southeast is dominated by mountains of moderate elevation, the north and the west by hills and low mountains. Lowland alluvial plains are predominate in the west and northwest. The mountains are composed primarily of granite, shale, and volcanic rock, the hills and lowlands of sandstone and conglomerate. Japan’s biggest coal deposits, those of Chikugo, Miike, and Hijen, are located in the northwest of the island. Kyushu is an area of intensive volcanic activity, the active volcanoes including Aso, Kirishima, and Sakurajima. The highest peak of Kyushu is the volcanic cone Kuju (1,788 m). There are many hot springs, near the city of Beppu and elsewhere. Earthquakes are frequent; the strongest earthquakes in the 20th century occurred in 1909, 1961, and 1968.

Kyushu has a subtropical monsoon climate. The average January temperature is about 0°C in the mountains and 10°C in the plains; the corresponding July temperatures are 15°C and 28°C. Precipitation ranges from 1,600 to 3,000 mm a year, reaching the maximum in the summer. Kyushu is washed by the warm Kuroshio and Tsushima currents, but during the winter monsoon the temperature sometimes drops sharply. Typhoons are frequent. The rivers, most of them mountain rivers, have great potential for the generation of electric power and are widely used for irrigation. Up to 850 m, the flora consists of subtropical evergreen forests of evergreen oak, camelia, and magnolia, densely overgrown by lianas; above that altitude are deciduous and coniferous forests of pine and cryptomeria, shrubbery, meadows, and barren land. In the south are tropical monsoon forests with palms, tree ferns, and sago palms.

Kyushu is densely populated, with more than 300 persons per sq km. It is connected with Honshu Island by two tunnels, for railroads and automobiles, across the Kammon (Shimonoseki) Strait. The big cities on the island are Kumamoto, Nagasaki, and Kitakyushu.

REFERENCE

Georgiev, Iu. V. Kiusiu. Moscow, 1971.

IU. K. EFREMOV

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Kyushu

, Kiushu
an island of SW Japan: the southernmost of Japan's four main islands, with over 300 surrounding small islands; coalfield and chemical industries. Chief cities: Fukuoka, Kitakyushu, and Nagasaki. Pop.: 14 786 000 (2002 est.). Area: 35 659 sq. km (13 768 sq. miles)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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