Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Kyūshū (九州) is the third largest island of Japan and most southerly and westerly of the four main islands. It is considered the birthplace of Japanese civilization. Its alternate ancient names include Kyūkoku (九国), Chinzei (鎮西), and Tsukushi-shima (筑紫島). The ancient region Saikaido consists of Kyushu and its surrounding islands.
Population: 13.44 million (1995). Area: 35,640 km².
The island is mountainous, and Japan's largest active volcano, Aso at 1,592 m, 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, in the North East, and Aso, in central Kyushu.
Parts of Kyushu have a subtropical climate, particularly the Miyazaki and Kagoshima regions. 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 e.g. Arita, Agano, Satsuma and Hizen. Heavy industry is concentrated in the north around Kitakyushu and Oita and includes chemicals and metal processing.
The name Kyushu literally means nine (九) provinces (州) and gets its meaning from the nine ancient provinces that once made up the island. These were Chikuzen, Chikugo, Hizen, Higo, Buzen, Bungo, Hyuga, Satsuma, and Osumi. The central government, behind the Meiji Emperor, in 1871 abolished this and the feudal system of government and established prefectures (Haihan Chiken) in their place.
Kyushu has many large cities - the largest of which is Fukuoka, Japan's eighth largest city. Following it is Kitakyushu, Japan's ninth most populous city, and also Nagasaki, the second site of the atomic bomb which closed World War II in 1945.
Universities in Kyushu include: Kurume University, Kyushu University , Nagasaki University , Kumamoto University, Kagoshima University, Oita University , Miyazaki University , Kyushu Institute of Technology, The University of Kitakyushu .
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