Kyushu

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Kyushu
Native name: 九州
Japan kyushu map small.png
Kyushu region of Japan and the current prefectures on the island of Kyushu
Geography
Location East Asia
Archipelago Japanese Archipelago
Area 36,782 km2 (14,202 sq mi)
Area rank 37th
Highest elevation 1,791 m (5,876 ft)
Highest point Mount Kujū [1]
Administration
Prefectures   Fukuoka Prefecture
  Kagoshima Prefecture
  Kumamoto Prefecture
  Miyazaki Prefecture
  Nagasaki Prefecture
  Ōita Prefecture
  Okinawa Prefecture
  Saga Prefecture
Largest settlement Fukuoka
Demographics
Population 12,970,479 (2016)
Pop. density 307.13 /km2 (795.46 /sq mi)
Ethnic groups Japanese

Kyushu (九州, Kyūshū, literally "Nine Provinces"; Japanese:  [kʲɯːꜜɕɯː]) is the third largest island of Japan and most southwesterly of its four main islands. [2] Its alternative ancient names include Kyūkoku (九国, "Nine Provinces"), Chinzei (鎮西, "West of the Pacified Area"), and Tsukushi-no-shima (筑紫島, "Island of Tsukushi"). The historical regional name Saikaidō (西海道, lit. West Sea Circuit) referred to Kyushu and its surrounding islands.

In the 8th century Taihō Code reforms, Dazaifu was established as a special administrative term for the region. [3]

As of 2016, Kyushu has a population of 12,970,479 and covers 36,782 square kilometres (14,202 sq mi).[ citation needed]

Geography

The island is mountainous, and Japan's most active volcano, Mt Aso at 1,591 metres (5,220 ft), is on Kyushu. There are many other signs of tectonic activity, including numerous areas of hot springs. The most famous of these are in Beppu, on the east shore, and around Mt. Aso, in central Kyushu. The island is separated from Honshu by the Kanmon Straits.

The name Kyūshū comes from the nine ancient provinces of Saikaidō situated on the island: Chikuzen, Chikugo, Hizen, Higo, Buzen, Bungo, Hyūga, Osumi, and Satsuma.

Today's Kyushu Region (九州地方, Kyūshū-chihō) is a politically defined region that consists of the seven prefectures on the island of Kyushu (which also includes the former Tsushima and Iki as part of Nagasaki), plus Okinawa Prefecture to the south:

Demography

Most of Kyushu's population is concentrated along the northwest, in the cities of Fukuoka and Kitakyushu, with population corridors stretching southwest into Sasebo and Nagasaki and south into Kumamoto and Kagoshima. Excepting Oita and Miyazaki cities, the eastern seaboard shows a general decline in population.

Kyushu is described as a stronghold of the LDP political party. [4]

Designated cities
Core cities

Economy and environment

Map of Kyushu region with prefectures
JMSDF District Forces, including the Sasebo District Force

Parts of Kyushu have a subtropical climate, particularly Miyazaki prefecture and Kagoshima prefecture. Major agricultural products are rice, tea, tobacco, sweet potatoes, and soy; silk is also widely produced. The island is noted for various types of porcelain, including Arita, Imari, Satsuma, and Karatsu. Heavy industry is concentrated in the north around Fukuoka, Kitakyushu, Nagasaki, and Oita and includes chemicals, automobiles, semiconductors, and metal processing.

In 2010, the graduate employment rate in the region was the lowest nationwide, at 88.9%. [5]

Besides the volcanic area of the south, there are significant mud hot springs in the northern part of the island, around Beppu. These springs are the site of occurrence of certain extremophile micro-organisms, that are capable of surviving in extremely hot environments. [6]

Japanese motor manufacturer Lexus has a large, state of the art, manufacturing plant in Kyushu.

Education

Major universities and colleges in Kyushu:

Transportation

The island is linked to the larger island of Honshu by the Kanmon Tunnels, which carry both the San'yō Shinkansen and non- Shinkansen trains of the Kyushu Railway Company, as well as vehicular, pedestrian, and bicycle traffic. The Kanmon Bridge also connects the island with Honshu. Railways on the island are operated by the Kyushu Railway Company, and Nishitetsu Railway.


KYUSHU INFORMATION


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