On the extreme north are the Kuriles (called by the Japanese Chishima, or the myriad isles), which extend to 156 32 E.
There are six large islands, namely Sakhalin (called by the Japanese Karafuto); Yezo or Ezo (which with the Kuriles is designated Hokkaido, or the north-sea district); Nippon (the origin of the sun), which is the main island; Shikoku (the four provinces), which lies on the east of Nippon; KiUshi or Kyushu (the nine provinces), which lies on the south of Nippon, and Formosa, which forms the most southerly link of the chain.
Kuriles (Chishima) 31 1,496.23 6,159-42
Among the mountains, of Japan there are three volcanic ranges, namely, that of the Kuriles, that of Fuji, and that of Kirishima.
Mime has pointed out that it is literally true of the Kuriles alone, partially true for the northern half of the Main Island and for Kishi, and quite incorrect as applied to the southern half of the Main Island and to Shikoku.
In the northern half of the main island, in Yezo and in the Kuriles, the cold is severe during the winter, which lasts for at least four months, and snow falls sometimes to great depths.
On the south, the RikiU Islands bring her within reach of Formosa and the Malayan archipelago; on the west, Oki, Iki, and Tsushima bridge the sea between her and Korea; on the north-west Sakhalin connects her with the Amur region; and on the north, the Kuriles form an almost continuous route to Kamchatka.
In the Bering Sea the trough north of Buldir in the Aleutian Islands sinks to 2237 fathoms, and in the Sea of Okhotsk, north-west of the Kuriles, to 1859 fathoms. Similar conditions prevail in the East China Sea and the Andaman Sea.
The north of the chain, from the Kuriles to Formosa, belongs to the empire of Japan; southward it is continued by the Philippines (belonging to the United States of America) which link it with the vast archipelago between the Pacific and Indian oceans, to which the name Malay Archipelago is commonly applied.
As the loop of the Kuriles depends from the southern extremity of Kamchatka, so from the east of the same peninsula another loop extends across the northern part of the ocean to Alaska, and helps to demarcate the Bering Sea; this chain is distinctly broken to the east of the Commander Islands, but is practically continuous thereafter under the name of the Aleutian Islands.
KURILES (Jap. Chishima, " thousand islands"), a chain of small islands belonging to Japan, stretching in a north-easterly direction from Nemuro Bay, on the extreme east of the island of Yezo, to Chishima-kaikyo (Kuriles Strait), which separates them from the southernmost point of Kamchatka.
From Noshapzaki (Notsu-no-sake or Notsu Cape), the most easterly point of Nemuro province, to Tomari, the most westerly point in Kunashiri, the distance is 71m., and the Kuriles Strait separating Shumshiri from Kamchatka is about the same width.
The three southern islands, Kunashiri, Etorofu, and Shikotan, are believed to have belonged to Japan from a remote date, but at the beginning of the 18th century the Russians, having conquered Kamchatka, found their way to the northern part of the Kuriles in pursuit of fur-bearing animals, with which the islands then abounded.