Thence he went to the Kurile Islands and Kamchatka, and sailed from the far north down the meridian to the Navigator and Friendly Islands.
The Aleutian archipelago was sold to the United States in 1867, together with Alaska, and in 1875 the Kurile Islands were ceded to Japan.
On the east and south-east of Asia are several important groups of islands, the more southern of which link this continent to Australia, and to the islands of the Pacific. The Kurile Islands, the Japanese group, Luchu, Formosa and the Philippines, may be regarded as unquestionable outliers of Asia.
Arctoa, was formerly said to have occurred in North America, but its proper home is in the Kurile Islands or Kamchatka.
The Sea of Okhotsk, separated from the Pacific by the Kurile Archipelago and from the Sea of Japan by the islands of Sakhalin and Yezo, is notorious as one of the worst seas of the world, owing to its dense fogs and its masses of floating ice.
Finally in the east of Yezo rise the most westerly volcanoes of the Kurile chain.
Bering Sea is bounded by the Alaskan Peninsula and the chain of the Aleutian Islands; the sea of Okhotsk is enclosed by the peninsula of Kamchatka and the Kurile Islands; the Sea of Japan is shut off by Sakhalin Island, the Japanese Islands and the peninsula of Korea; the Yellow Sea is an opening between the coast of China and Korea; the China Sea lies between the Asiatic continent and the island of Formosa, the Philippine group, Palawan and Borneo.
" Penguin," near the Tonga Islands: and the Tuscarora deep, a long, narrow trough running immediately to the east of Kamchatka, the Kurile Islands and Japan.
The name "Kurile" is derived from the Russian kurit (to smoke), in allusion to the active volcanic character of the group. The dense fogs that envelop these islands, and the violence of the currents in their vicinity, have greatly hindered exploration, so that little is known of their physiography.
The Kurile Islands were discovered in 1634 by the Dutch navigator Martin de Vries.
Gunji, left Tokyo with about forty comrades in 1892, his intention being to form a settlement on Shumshiri, the most northerly of the Kurile Islands.
Snow, Notes on the Kurile Islands (London, 1896).
Such curved chains are repeated about the Pacific Ocean in the Kurile Islands, the Japanese chain, the Philippines, &c. The general elevation is greatest in the eastern islands and least in the western.