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 or Kyushu is the third largest island of Japanmarker and most southwesterly of its four main islandsmarker. Its alternate ancient names include Kyūkoku (九国 Nine States), 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 West Sea Circuit) referred to Kyūshū and its surrounding islands.

Kyūshū has a population of 13,231,995 (2006) and covers .


The island is mountainous, and Japan's most active volcano, Mt Asomarker at , is on Kyūshū. 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 Kyūshū.

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 Kyūshū Region (九州地方 kyūshū-chihō) is a politically defined region that consists of the seven prefecture on the island of Kyūshū and also Okinawa Prefecturemarker to the south:

The world’s 37th largest island by area, Kyūshū is smaller than Spitsbergenmarker but larger than New Britainmarker and Taiwanmarker. By population, it ranks 13th, having fewer inhabitants than Borneomarker or Sulawesimarker, but more than Salsettemarker or Cubamarker.

Economy and climate

Map of Kyūshū region with prefectures
Parts of Kyūshū have a subtropical climate, particularly Miyazaki and Kagoshima prefectures. 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.


Major universities and colleges in Kyūshū:

See also

Notes and references

  1. "Nine Provinces" may also refer to Jiuzhou, a historical division of China

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