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The Japanese archipelago
Japanese archipelago
(日本列島, Nihon Rettō) is the group of islands that forms the country of Japan, and extends roughly from northeast to southwest along the northeastern coast of the Eurasia mainland, washing upon the northwestern shores of the Pacific Ocean. It consists of islands from the Sakhalin island arc and the Northeastern Japan
Japan
arc. The term Home Islands was used at the end of World War II
World War II
to define the area of Japan
Japan
to which its sovereignty and the constitutional rule of the Emperor would be restricted.[citation needed] The term is also commonly used today to distinguish the archipelago from Japan's colonies and other territories in the first half of the 20th century.[1]

Contents

1 Palaeogeography 2 Geography

2.1 Islands and prefectures

3 See also 4 References 5 External links

Palaeogeography[edit] Main article: Geology of Japan

Changes of land-forms of Japan
Japan
over time

Japanese archipelago, Sea of Japan
Japan
and surrounding part of continental East Asia in Early Miocene (23-18 Ma) 

Japanese archipelago, Sea of Japan
Japan
and surrounding part of continental East Asia in Middle Pliocene to Late Pliocene (3.5-2 Ma) 

Japanese archipelago
Japanese archipelago
at the Last Glacial Maximum
Last Glacial Maximum
about 20,000 years ago, thin black line indicates present-day shorelines   Vegetated land   Unvegetated land   Ocean  

Geography[edit] Main article: Geography of Japan The archipelago consists of 6,852 islands ("island" defined as land more than 100 m in circumference), of which 430 are inhabited.[2] The five main islands, from north to south, are Sakhalin, Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu; Honshu
Honshu
is the largest and referred to as the Japanese mainland.[3] Islands and prefectures[edit]

Hokkaido
Hokkaido
– The second largest island of Japan, and the largest and northernmost prefecture, which consists of 14 subprefectures.

 Hokkaido

Hidaka Subprefecture Hiyama Subprefecture Iburi Subprefecture Ishikari Subprefecture Kamikawa Subprefecture Kushiro Subprefecture Nemuro Subprefecture Okhotsk Subprefecture Oshima Subprefecture Rumoi Subprefecture Shiribeshi Subprefecture Sorachi Subprefecture Sōya Subprefecture Tokachi Subprefecture

Honshu
Honshu
– The largest and the most populated island of Japan, which consists of five regions.

Tōhoku region
Tōhoku region
consists of six prefectures.

 Akita Prefecture  Aomori Prefecture  Fukushima Prefecture  Iwate Prefecture  Miyagi Prefecture  Yamagata Prefecture

Kantō region
Kantō region
consists of seven prefectures, including the capital of Japan
Japan
which is the Tokyo
Tokyo
Metropolis.

 Chiba Prefecture  Gunma Prefecture  Ibaraki Prefecture  Kanagawa Prefecture  Saitama Prefecture  Tochigi Prefecture  Tokyo

Chūbu region
Chūbu region
consists of nine prefectures.

 Aichi Prefecture  Fukui Prefecture  Gifu Prefecture  Ishikawa Prefecture  Nagano Prefecture  Niigata Prefecture  Shizuoka Prefecture  Toyama Prefecture  Yamanashi Prefecture

Kansai region
Kansai region
consists of seven prefectures.

 Hyōgo Prefecture  Kyoto Prefecture  Mie Prefecture  Nara Prefecture  Osaka Prefecture  Shiga Prefecture  Wakayama Prefecture

Chūgoku region
Chūgoku region
consists of five prefectures.

 Hiroshima Prefecture  Okayama Prefecture  Shimane Prefecture  Tottori Prefecture  Yamaguchi Prefecture

Shikoku
Shikoku
– The smallest and the least populated island of the archipelago, which consists of four prefectures.

 Ehime Prefecture  Kagawa Prefecture  Kōchi Prefecture  Tokushima Prefecture

Kyushu
Kyushu
– The third largest island of the archipelago, which consists of eight prefectures, including the Okinawa Islands
Okinawa Islands
in the Ryukyu island arc.

 Fukuoka Prefecture  Kagoshima Prefecture  Kumamoto Prefecture  Miyazaki Prefecture  Nagasaki Prefecture  Ōita Prefecture  Saga Prefecture

Ryukyu Islands
Ryukyu Islands
and Okinawa Islands

 Okinawa Prefecture

Sakhalin
Sakhalin
– A part of the Russian Federation, is sometimes considered to be geographically part of the Japanese archipelago, although Japan renounced its claim to the island in the 20th century.[4]

  Sakhalin
Sakhalin
Oblast

See also[edit]

Japanese Paleolithic List of islands of Japan

References[edit]

^ Milton W. Meyer, Japan: A Concise History, 4th ed. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, 2012, ISBN 9780742541184, p. 2. ^ "Islands in Abundance", Look Japan
Japan
Volume 43, Issues 493–504, p. 37. ^ "Japanese Archipelago", TheFreeDictionary.com, retrieved 24 June 2013. ^ "The Chautauquan", Volume 42, p. 6.

External links[edit]

37°30′52″N 137°42′44″E / 37.514444°N 137.712222°E / 37.514444; 137.712222Coordinates: 37°30′52″N 137°42′44″E / 37.514444°N 137.712222°E / 37.514444; 137.712222, center of mass

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