There are six large islands, namely Sakhalin (called by the Japanese Karafuto); Yezo or Ezo (which with the Kuriles is designated Hokkaido, or the north-sea district); Nippon (the origin of the sun), which is the main island; Shikoku (the four provinces), which lies on the east of Nippon; KiUshi or Kyushu (the nine provinces), which lies on the south of Nippon, and Formosa, which forms the most southerly link of the chain.
From the mine of Ichinokawa in Shikoku come the wonderful crystals of antimonite, which form such conspicuous objects in the mineralogical cabinets of Europe.
It is separated on the south from the island of Shikoku by the Naruto channel, through which, in certain conditions of the tide, a remarkable torrential current is set up. The island is celebrated for its exquisite scenery, and also for the fact that it is traditionally reputed to have been the first of the Japanese islands created by the deities Izanagi and Izanami.
In KiushiO, Shikoku and the southern half of the main island, the months of July and August alone are marked by oppressive heat at the sea-level, while in elevated districts a cool and even bracing temperature may always be found, though the direct rays of the sun retain distressing power.