Ōsumi Islands

The Ōsumi Islands (大隅諸島 Ōsumi-shotō) is an archipelago in the Nansei Islands, and are the northernmost group of the Satsunan Islands, which is in turn part of the Ryukyu Archipelago. The chain extends from the southern tip of Kyushu to Yakushima. Administratively, the group belongs within Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan.

Ōsumi Islands
Native name:
大隅諸島
Ōsumi-shotō
Iojima Kagoshima Japan
Iōjima
Satsunan Islands
Map of Kagoshima Prefecture
Geography
Coordinates30°34′26″N 130°58′52″E / 30.57389°N 130.98111°E
Adjacent bodies of waterPacific Ocean
Total islands9
Area1,030 km2 (400 sq mi)
Administration
PrefecturesKagoshima
Demographics
Population46500 (2010)
Ethnic groupsJapanese

Geography

The Ōsumi Islands are of volcanic origin and have a total area of approximately 1,030 square kilometres (400 sq mi). The highest elevation is Miyanouradake with a height of 1,935 metres (6,348 ft) on Yakushima. The climate is a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa) with very warm summers and mild winters. Precipitation is high throughout the year, but is highest in the months of May, June and September.

History

The Ōsumi Islands have been settled since at least the Jōmon period. Burial sites on Tanegashima, namely the Yokomine and Hirota sites, attest to a uniquely well-developed Yayoi period culture at the end of the 4th century AD.[1] The artifacts include magatama, an engraved pendant, and emblems with apparent writing.[2]

Tanegashima and Yakushima are first mentioned in written documents of the Chinese Sui dynasty of the 6th century. Mention is made in the Japanese Shoku Nihongi under an entry for the year 699 of the islands of Tane, Yaku and Amami. The Ōsumi Islands formed ancient Tane Province during the Asuka period. The islands were often mentioned in the diaries of travelers between Tang-dynasty China and Nara period Japan.

Some of the islands in the archipelago have local legends of providing refuge to the Heike clan after their defeat in the Genpei War at the end of the Heian period. During the Sengoku period, in 1543 a Chinese vessel with the Portuguese Mendes Pinto stranded on Tanegashima and is credited with introducing firearms to Japan. In fact, Pinto was probably not present at the first Portuguese contact with the Japanese, although he did visit Tanegashima soon after and legend says he did marry a local woman and had a son. The Europeans had arrived to trade not only guns, but also soap, tobacco and other goods unknown in medieval Japan, for Japanese goods.

During the Edo period, Ōsumi Islands were ruled by the Shimazu clan of Satsuma Domain and was considered part of Ōsumi Province. Following the Meiji Restoration, the islands have been administered as part of Kagoshima Prefecture.

In 1969 the "Tanegashima Space Center" (TNSC) including a spaceport was opened by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. The TNSC is located at the southeastern end of Tanegashima island.

Transport

The Ōsumi Islands are served by New Tanegashima Airport and Yakushima Airport. There are regular connections with Kagoshima and the Amami Islands by ferries.

Islands

Photo Name Kanji Area
[km²]
Population highest point
[m]
Peak Coordinates
Yakushima.jpg Yakushima 屋久島 504.88 13,178 1935 Miyanouradake 30°21′31″N 130°31′43″E / 30.35861°N 130.52861°E
Tanegashima ISS048.jpg Tanegashima 種子島 444.99 33,000 282.0 30°34′26″N 130°58′52″E / 30.57389°N 130.98111°E
Kuchinoerabujima island from Mt.Nagatadake.jpg Kuchinoerabu-jima 口永良部島 38.04 147 657 Furudake 30°28′N 131°11′E / 30.467°N 131.183°E
Mage Island East side.JPG Mageshima 馬毛島 8.2 71.7 Takenokoshi 30°44′29.9″N 130°51′16.9″E / 30.741639°N 130.854694°E
Kuroshima of Kagoshima.jpg Kuroshima 黒島 15.37 199 621.9 Yaguradake 30°50′5.6″N 129°57′20.7″E / 30.834889°N 129.955750°E
Iojima Kagoshima Japan.jpg Iōjima 硫黄島 11.65 142 703.7 Iōdake 30°47′27″N 130°17′46″E / 30.79083°N 130.29611°E
Takeshima 竹島 4.2 78 220.0 Magomeyama 30°48′50″N 130°25′2.1″E / 30.81389°N 130.417250°E
Showa-iwojima of the volcanic island Aerial Photograph.jpg Shōwa Iōjima 昭和硫黄島 0.07 24 30°48′15″N 130°20′30″E / 30.80417°N 130.34167°E
Den-Shima island Aerial Photograph.jpg Denshima デン島 0.001 - 58 30°45′02″N 130°06′07″E / 30.75056°N 130.10194°E

References

  • National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGIA). Prostar Sailing Directions 2005 Japan Enroute. Prostar Publications (2005). ISBN 1577856511
  1. ^ "Hirota". Archaeology.jp. Retrieved 2013-09-30.
  2. ^ "Ancient Japanese writing symbols [From the Golden Stamp to Documents from the Shoso-in]|Special Exhibitions|Exhibitions|National Museum of Japanese History". Rekihaku.ac.jp. 2002-06-09. Archived from the original on 2013-07-29. Retrieved 2013-09-30.

External links

Denshima

Denshima (デン島), also known as Yuze (湯瀬), is an uninhabited volcanic pillar located in the Ōsumi Islands and belonging to Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan.

Iōjima

Iōjima may refer to:

An island known as Iwo Jima in English. In Japanese, it is officially known as Iōtō, although at one point it was officially also Iōjima

Iōjima, Tokyo, a former village in Tokyo on the same island

Iōjima, Kagoshima, one of the three islands that forms the village of Mishima, Kagoshima, Japan; one of the Ōsumi Islands

Iōjima, Nagasaki, a former town in Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan

Iōjima (Kagoshima)

Iōjima (硫黄島), also known as Satsuma Iōjima (薩摩硫黄島) or Tokara Iōjima (吐噶喇硫黄島), is one of the Satsunan Islands, usually classed with the Ōsumi Islands, belonging to Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. Along with Takeshima and Kuroshima, it makes up the three-island village of Mishima, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. The island, 11.65 km² in area, has a population of 142 persons.

Kikai, Kagoshima

Not to be confused with Kikai Caldera, which is submerged in the Ōsumi Islands

Kikai (喜界町, Kikai-chō) is a town located on Kikaijima, in Ōshima District, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan.

In June 2013 the town had an estimated population of 7,657 and a population density of 134 persons per km². The total area is 56.94 km². The economy of the town is based on sugar cane, shōchū refining and seasonal tourism.

Kikai Caldera

Kikai Caldera (鬼界カルデラ, Kikai karudera) is a massive, mostly submerged caldera up to 19 kilometres (12 mi) in diameter in the Ōsumi Islands of Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. It is the remains of the ancient eruption of a gigantic volcano. Its geographic coordinates are: Latitude (dd.) 30.79 and Longitude (dd.) 130.31

Kuchinoerabu-jima

Kuchinoerabu-jima (口永良部島), is one of the Satsunan Islands, usually classed with the Ōsumi Islands belonging to Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. The island, 38.04 km² in area, has a population of 147. The island can only be reached by boat as it has no airport. There is regular ferry service with Yakushima, which is about 15 km to the east. Travel time is approximately 1 hour. The islanders are dependent mainly on fishing, agriculture and seasonal tourism. The entire island is within the borders of the Kirishima-Yaku National Park.

Kumage District, Kagoshima

Kumage (熊毛郡, Kumage-gun) is a district located in Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. The district covers two islands from the Ōsumi Islands, Tanegashima and Yakushima.

The district has an estimated population of 29,706 with a total area of 789.16 km², according to 2005 Census.

Contains 3 towns:

Nakatane

Minamitane

Yakushima

Kumage Subprefecture

Kumage Subprefecture (熊毛支庁, Kumage-shichō) is a subprefecture of Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. The subprefectural office is located in Nishinoomote.

It includes the following cities and towns on the Ōsumi Islands:

Kumage Subprefecture

Nishinoomote (city on Tanegashima and Mageshima)

Nakatane (town on Tanegashima)

Minamitane (town on Tanegashima)

Yakushima Office

Yakushima (town on Yakushima and Kuchinoerabujima)

Kuroshima (Kagoshima)

Kuroshima (黒島), is one of the Satsunan Islands, usually classed with the Ōsumi Islands, belonging to Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. The island, 15.37 km² in area, has a population of 199 persons. The island can only be reached by ferry service to the city of Kagoshima on the mainland, as there is no airport. Travel time is about 6 hours. The islanders are dependent mainly on fishing, agriculture and seasonal tourism.

List of islands of Japan

Japan has 6,852 islands. Approximately 430 are inhabited. Japan is the largest island country in East Asia and the fourth largest island country in the world. Here's a list of islands of Japan.

Mageshima

Mageshima (馬毛島), is one of the Satsunan Islands, usually classed with the Ōsumi Islands belonging to Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. It is administered by the city of Nishinoomote on Tanegashima.

New Tanegashima Airport

New Tanegashima Airport (新種子島空港, Shin Tanegashima Kūkō) (IATA: TNE, ICAO: RJFG), also known as Tanegashima Airport, is located in Nakatane, on Tanegashima, one of the Ōsumi Islands in southern Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan.

The original Tanegashima Airport was opened on July 27, 1962 at a site approximately 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) southeast of the present airport. Although its runway was extended from 1,000 m (3,300 ft) to 1,500 m (4,900 ft) in 1973, it was not suitable to handle jet aircraft, and was closed on March 16, 2006, the day that the New Tanegashima Airport, with a 2,000 m (6,600 ft) runway was opened.

Satsunan Islands

The Satsunan Islands (薩南諸島, Satsunan-shotō) is a geopolitical name for a group of islands that forms the northern part of the Ryukyu Islands. The whole island group belongs to Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan.

Shōwa Iōjima

Shōwa Iōjima (昭和硫黄島), also known as Shōwa Shintō (昭和新島), is one of the Satsunan Islands, usually classed with the Ōsumi Islands, belonging to Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. A deserted volcanic island, it is located just off the northern shore of Iōjima, Kagoshima.

Takeshima (Kagoshima)

Takeshima (竹島), is one of the Satsunan Islands, usually classed with the Ōsumi Islands belonging to Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. The island, 4.2 km² in area, has a population of 78 persons. The island can only be reached by ferry service to the city of Kagoshima on the mainland, as there is no airport. Travel time is about 3 hours. The islanders are dependent mainly on fishing, agriculture and seasonal tourism.

Tanegashima

Tanegashima (種子島) is one of the Ōsumi Islands belonging to Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. The island, 444.99 km² in area, is the second largest of the Ōsumi Islands, and has a population of 33,000 persons. Access to the island is by ferry, or by air to New Tanegashima Airport. Administratively, the island is divided into the city, Nishinoomote, and the two towns, Nakatane and Minamitane. The towns belong to Kumage District.

Yakushima

Yakushima (屋久島) is one of the Ōsumi Islands in Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. The island, 504.88 km2 (194.94 sq mi) in area, has a population of 13,178. Access to the island is by hydrofoil ferry (7 or 8 times a day from Kagoshima, depending on the season), slow car ferry (once or twice a day from Kagoshima), or by air to Yakushima Airport (3 to 5 times daily from Kagoshima, once daily from Fukuoka and once daily from Osaka).

Administratively, the whole island is the town of Yakushima. The town also serves neighbouring Kuchinoerabujima. The majority of the island is within the borders of the Kirishima-Yaku National Park.Yakushima's electricity is more than 50% hydroelectric, and surplus power has been used to produce hydrogen gas in an experiment by Kagoshima University. The island has been a test site for Honda's hydrogen fuel cell vehicle research. (There are no hydrogen cars stationed on the island but electric cars are run by the municipality.)

Yakushima National Park

Yakushima National Park (屋久島国立公園, Yakushima Kokuritsu Kōen) is a protected area located in Kagoshima Prefecture, Kyushu. It includes parts of the Ōsumi Islands with Yakushima, the entire island Kuchinoerabu-jima and some surrounding marine areas. The total size is 325.53 square kilometres (125.69 sq mi).The national park was established on March 16, 1964 and assigned to the Kirishima National Park, which became Kirishima-Yaku National Park. On March 16, 2012 Yakushima was split of as the separate Yakushima National Park. Kirishima-Yaku National Park was renamed to Kirishima-Kinkōwan National Park with an area of 365.86 km².

Ōsumi

Ōsumi can stand for:

Ōsumi Province, a former province of Japan

Ōsumi Peninsula

Ōsumi Islands, an archipelago at the northern end of the Ryukyu Islands

Ōsumi (satellite), the first Japanese satellite

Ōsumi class LST, a class of Japanese amphibious transport dock

Ōsumi Islands
Kamimishima

Languages

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