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(九州) The third largest and most southerly of the islands of Japan. Considered the birthplace of Japanese civilization.

Population: 13.44m

Area: 35,640 km2

The island is mountainous and Japan's largest active volcano, Aso at 1592m, is on Kyushu, and there are many other signs of tectonic activity including hot springs.

Kyushu has a subtropical climate. Major agricultural products are rice, tea, tobacco, sweet potatoes, and soy; silk is also widely produced. The island has two noted types of porcelain - Satsuma and Hizen.

It contains eight Prefectures - Fukuoka, Kagoshima, Kumamoto, Miyazaki, Nagasaki, Oita, Okinawa, and Saga. The major city on the island is the Fukuoka - a port and major centre for heavy industry, Kitakyushu and Omuta are also industrial centres. Nagasaki is the main port. Tanegashima Space Centre is also on the island, one of Japan's two.