Amakusa Islands

Amakusa Islands ämäko͞o´sä [key], archipelago, c.340 sq mi (880 sq km), Kumamoto and Kagoshima prefectures, in the East China Sea, off W Kyushu, Japan. There are about 70 islands in the group. Shimo, the largest island, is the site of Hondo, which is the chief town. The interior of the islands is rugged the coastal lowlands are fertile. Timber, oranges, fish, porcelain, and pearls are the principal products. Amakusa clansmen made the islands a major center of Christianity in the 16th cent. Villages and historical relics of this period are found in Unzen-Amakusa National Park.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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