1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Izu-no-Shichi-Tō

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354141911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 15 — Izu-no-Shichi-Tō

IZU-NO-SHICHI-TŌ, the seven (shichi) islands (to) of Izu, included in the empire of Japan. They stretch in a southerly direction from a point near the mouth of Tokyo Bay, and lie between 33° and 34° 48′ N. and between 139° and 140° E. Their names, beginning from the north, are Izu-no-Oshima, To-shima, Nii-shima, Kozu-shima, Miyake-shima and Hachijo-shima. There are some islets in their immediate vicinity. Izu-no-Oshima, an island 10 m. long and 51/2 m. wide, is 15 m. from the nearest point of the Izu promontory. It is known to western cartographers as Vries Island, a name derived from that of Captain Martin Gerritsz de Vries, a Dutch navigator, who is supposed to have discovered the island in 1643. But the group was known to the Japanese from a remote period, and used as convict settlements certainly from the 12th century and probably from a still earlier era. Hachijo, the most southerly, is often erroneously written “Fatsisio” on English charts. Izu-no-Oshima is remarkable for its smoking volcano, Mihara-yama (2461 ft.), a conspicuous object to all ships bound for Yokohama. Three others of the islands—Nii-shima, Kozu-shima and Miyake-shima—have active volcanoes. Those on Nii-shima and Kozu-shima are of inconsiderable size, but that on Miyake-shima, namely, Oyama, rises to a height of 2707 ft. The most southerly island, Hachijo-shima, has a still higher peak, Dsubo-take (2838 ft.), but it does not emit any smoke.