Kunashir Island

Kunashir Island

Infobox Disputed Islands
name = Kunashir Island

image caption = NASA picture of Mendeleev volcano (Jap.: Rausu-yama) in the southern part of Kunashir.
image size = 300px
Location map|Japan|lat=44.116667|long=145.85|caption=Kunashir Island (off the coast of Hokkaidō)
map_custom = yes
native name = Kunashiri (Ainu)
native name link =
other_names = _ru. Кунашир; _ja. 国後島
location = Sea of Okhotsk
coordinates = Coord|44|07|N|145|51|E|type:isle|display=inline
archipelago = Kuril Islands
total islands =
major islands =
area = convert|1490|km2|acre
length =convert|123|km|mi
width =from convert|4|km|mi to convert|30|km|mi
coastline =
highest mount = Tyatya
elevation = convert|1819|m|ft
country claim = Japan
country claim divisions title = Prefecture
country claim divisions = Hokkaidō
country claim capital city = Tokyo
country claim largest city =
country claim largest city population =
country claim leader title =
country claim leader name =
country 1 claim = Russia
country 1 claim divisions title = Oblast
country 1 claim divisions = Sakhalin
country 1 claim capital city =
country 1 claim largest city =
country 1 claim largest city population =
country 1 claim leader title =
country 1 claim leader name =
country = Russia
country admin divisions title =Oblast
country admin divisions = Sakhalin
country capital city =
country largest city =
country largest city population =
country leader title =
country leader name =
population =
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additional info =

Kunashir Island ( _ru. Кунашир; _ja. 国後島, "Kunashiri"), meaning "Black Island" in Ainu) is the southernmost island of the Kuril Islands, which are controlled by Russia and claimed by Japan (see Kuril Islands dispute).

It lies between the straits of Kunashir, Catherine, Izmena, and South Kuril. Kunashir is visible from the nearby Japanese island of Hokkaidō from which it is separated by the Nemuro Strait.

*Area: 1,490 km²
*Length: 123 km
*Width: 4–30 km

Kunashir is formed by four volcanoes which were separate islands but have since joined together by low-lying areas with lakes and hot springs. All these volcanoes are still active: Tyatya (1,819 m), Smirnov, Mendeleev (Ruasu Dake), and Golovnin). [ [http://www.mindat.org/loc-156801.html Volcanoes] ]

The island is formed with the volcanic and crystalline rocks. The climate is of monsoon type. The vegetation mostly consists of spruce, pine, fir, and mixed deciduous forests with lianas and Kuril bamboo underbrush. The mountains are covered with birch and Siberian Dwarf Pine scrub, herbaceous flowers or bare rocks.

Tree cores of century-old oaks "(Quercus crispula)" were found in July 2001 on Kunashir Island. [ [http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0031018204001075 Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology] ]

The primary economic activity is fishery and fishing industry. The island has a port next to Yuzhno-Kurilsk, administrative center of Yuzhno-Kurilsky District and the island's main settlement. Administratively this island belongs to the Sakhalin Oblast of the Russian Federation.


In 1789 Kunashiri was one of the settings of the Menashi-Kunashir Battle in which Ainu revolted against Japanese tradespeople and colonists.

Russian navigator Vasily Golovnin attempted to map and explore the island in 1819, but was apprehended by Japanese authorities and spent two years in prison.

ee also

* Kuril Islands dispute


* [http://www.shpilenok.com/expeditions/Expedition_Kunashir/Kunashir.htm Pictures]
* [http://www.oceandots.com/pacific/kuril/kunashir.htm Geographic data]
* [http://vn.vladnews.ru/issue540/Special_reports/Flights_to_Kunashir_Island_banned Flights to Kunashir Island banned]

External links

* [http://land.worldcitydb.com/sakhalinskaya_ã¢â€â™_in_russian_federation_state.html Sakhalin Oblast]

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