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Kitakyushu (kee ta kyOO'shOO)(北九州市; Kitakyushu-shi), literally
"North Kyushu", is one of the two largest cities on the island of Kyushu,
located in Fukuoka prefecture, Kyushu, Japan. Kitakyushu is one of Japan's
most important manufacturing regions and one of its chief ports and railroad
centers. In addition to its traditional industries, which produce iron and
steel, textiles, chemicals, machinery, ships, porcelain, and glass, the city
has developed industries such as industrial robotics, semiconductors, and
environmental technology. The city of Kitakyushu was founded
on February 10, 1963 and was designated on April 1, 1963 by government ordinance.
It resulted from the amalgamation of five cities, Moji, Kokura, Tobata, Yahata
and Wakamatsu, centered around the ancient feudal city of Kokura.
[History note: In the heart of Kitakyushu, the former city of Kokura,
there was a large weapons factory during World War II which was the original
target for the atomic bomb detonated over Nagasaki.]
Kyushu (kyOO'shOO) (九州), island (pop. 13,064,955), c.13,760
sq mi (35,640 sq km), S Japan. It is the third largest, southernmost, and
most densely populated of the 4 major islands of Japan. It is separated from
Shikoku by the Bungo Strait and from Honshu by the Shimonoseki Strait; a
railroad tunnel under the strait and a bridge link Kyushu with the island
of Honshu. Kyushu is only a two hour boat ride from Korea. Mainly
of volcanic origin, the island has a mountainous interior rising to 5,886
ft (1,794 m) in Kuju-san; Aso-san, Japan's largest active volcano, is on
Kyushu, and there are many hot springs. The Chikugo (88 mi/142 km long),
the island's longest river, waters an extensive rice-growing area in the
northwest. Kyushu has a subtropical climate and receives much precipitation.
The southern and eastern coasts are regularly battered by typhoons each year.
Rice, tea, tobacco, sweet potatoes, fruits, wheat, and soybeans are major
crops. Coal, zinc, and copper are mined in Kyushu, and raw silk is extensively
produced. The island is noted for its porcelain (Satsuma and Hizen ware).
The famous Imari ware was manufactured at the ancient town of Arita. Heavy
industry is concentrated in N Kyushu, near Japan's oldest coal field; Kitakyushu,
Fukuoka, and Omuta are major industrial centers. Nagasaki, the chief port
of Kyushu, was the first Japanese port to receive Western trade. There are
four national parks on the island, and one of Japan's two space centers is