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Kyushu (九州, Kyūshū, pronounced [kʲɯꜜːɕɯː] (About this soundlisten), literally "Nine Provinces") is the third largest island of Japan's five main islands and the most southerly of the four largest islands (excluding Okinawa).[2][3] In the past, it has been known as Kyūkoku (九国, "Nine Countries"), Chinzei (鎮西, "West of the Pacified Area") and Tsukushi-no-shima (筑紫島, "Island of Tsukushi"). The historical regional name Saikaidō (西海道, lit. West Sea Circuit) referred to Kyushu and its surrounding islands.

In the 8th-century Taihō Code reforms, Dazaifu was established as a special administrative term for the region.[4]

As of 2018, Kyushu has a population of 14,311,224 and covers 36,782 square kilometres (14,202 sq mi).[5]