Kagoshima Prefecture

Last updated
Kagoshima Prefecture
Japanese transcription(s)
   Japanese 鹿児島県
   Rōmaji Kagoshima-ken
Sakurajima -Cheng Shan Zhan Wang Tai yori.jpg
Kagoshima City, Kagoshima Prefecture and the active volcano Sakurajima
Flag of Kagoshima Prefecture.svg
Emblem of Kagoshima Prefecture.svg
Anthem: Kagoshima kenmin no uta
Map of Japan with highlight on 46 Kagoshima prefecture.svg
CountryFlag of Japan.svg  Japan
Region Kyushu
Island Kyushu
Capital Kagoshima
Subdivisions Districts: 8, Municipalities: 43
   Governor Kōichi Shiota
  Total9,187.01 km2 (3,547.12 sq mi)
  Rank 10th
 (September 1, 2022)
  Rank 24th
  Density170/km2 (440/sq mi)
  Total JP¥ 5,773 billion
US$ 53.0 billion (2019)
ISO 3166 code JP-46
Website www.pref.kagoshima.jp/foreign/english/index.html
Bird Lidth's jay (Garrulus lidthi)
FlowerMiyamakirishima ( Rhododendron kiusianum )
TreeCamphor laurel
( Cinnamomum camphora )

Kagoshima Prefecture (鹿児島県, Kagoshima-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located on the island of Kyushu and the Ryukyu Islands. [2] Kagoshima Prefecture has a population of 1,564,175 (1 September 2022) and has a geographic area of 9,187 km2 (3,547 sq mi). Kagoshima Prefecture borders Kumamoto Prefecture to the north and Miyazaki Prefecture to the northeast.


Kagoshima is the capital and largest city of Kagoshima Prefecture, with other major cities including Kirishima, Kanoya, and Satsumasendai. [3] Kagoshima Prefecture is located at the southernmost point of Kyūshū and includes the Satsunan Islands group of the Ryukyu Islands. Kagoshima Prefecture's mainland territory extends from the Ariake Sea to Shibushi Bay on the Pacific Ocean coast, and is characterized by two large peninsulas created by Kagoshima Bay. Kagoshima Prefecture formed the core of the Satsuma Domain, ruled from Kagoshima Castle, one of the most important Japanese domains of the Edo period and the Meiji Restoration.


Kagoshima Prefecture corresponds to the ancient Japanese provinces Ōsumi and Satsuma, including the northern part of the Ryukyu Islands ( Satsunan ). [4] This region played a key role in the Meiji Restoration (Saigō Takamori), and the city of Kagoshima was an important naval base during Japan's 20th century wars and the home of admiral Tōgō Heihachirō. More recent incidents are the sinking of a North Korean spy ship (100 ton class) in 2001 by the Coast Guard, which was later salvaged and exhibited in Tokyo, and the abduction of an office clerk from a Kagoshima beach in 1978 by agents from the same country. This became known only recently under the Koizumi administration.


The two main ethnic groups of Kagoshima Prefecture are the Japanese and the Ryukyuans (Amami Islands).


Kagoshima Prefecture is located at the southwest tip of Kyushu on the Satsuma Peninsula and Ōsumi Peninsula. This prefecture also includes a chain of islands stretching further to the southwest of Kyushu for a few hundred kilometers. The most important group is the Amami Islands. Surrounded by the East China Sea to the west, Okinawa Prefecture in the south, Kumamoto Prefecture to the north, and Miyazaki Prefecture to the east, it has 2,632 km (1,635 mi) of coastline (including the 28 islands). It has a bay called Kagoshima Bay (Kinkowan), which is sandwiched by two peninsulas, Satsuma and Ōsumi. Its position made it a 'gateway' to Japan at various times in history. While Kyushu has about 13 million people, there are less than 2 million in this prefecture.

The prefecture boasts a chain of active and dormant volcanoes, including the great Sakurajima, which towers out of the Kagoshima bay opposite Kagoshima city. A steady trickle of smoke and ash emerges from the caldera, punctuated by louder mini-eruptions on an almost daily basis. On active days in Kagoshima city an umbrella is advisable to ward off the ash. Sakurajima is one of Japan's most active volcanoes. Major eruptions occurred in 1914, when the island mountain spilled enough material to become permanently connected to the mainland, and a lesser eruption in 1960. Volcanic materials in the soil make Sakurajima a source for record daikon radishes, roughly the size of a basketball. Many beaches around the Kagoshima Bay are littered with well-worn pumice stones. A crater lake in the southwestern tip of the prefecture, near the spa town of Ibusuki, is home to a rare species of giant eel.

As of 31 March 2019, 13% of the total land area of the prefecture was designated as Natural Parks, namely the Amami Guntō, Kirishima-Kinkowan, Unzen-Amakusa, and Yakushima National Parks; Koshikishima and Nichinan Kaigan Quasi-National Parks; and Akune, Bōnoma, Fukiagehama, Imutaike, Ōsumi Nanbu, Sendaigawa Ryūiki, Takakumayama, and Tokara Rettō Prefectural Natural Parks. [5] [6]


Most of the economic sector is focused in Kagoshima City and the surrounding area, corresponding to the extent of the former Satsuma Province. The eastern part of the prefecture, the former Ōsumi Province, is mostly rural and shows a general population decline.

The prefecture has strong agricultural roots, which are reflected in its most well-known exports: green tea, sweet potato, radish, Pongee rice, Satsuma ware, Berkshire pork ("kurobuta") and local Black Wagyu beef. Kagoshima prefecture's production of bonito flakes is second only to that of Shizuoka. In addition, it produces Japan's largest volume of unagi eels. Kagoshima is also largest beef and pork producing prefecture in Japan.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has several facilities within the prefecture, including the country's main launch facility on Tanegashima and the Uchinoura Space Center.

The prefecture's gross domestic product is approximately 5,548.7 trillion yen, with a work force of about 791,000 people (2018) [7]


Map of Kagoshima Prefecture
City Town Village Map of Kagoshima Prefecture Ja.svg
Map of Kagoshima Prefecture
     City     Town     Village

The following is a list of Kagoshima Prefecture's cities, and its administrative districts with their constituent towns and villages:


Kagoshima from space ISS034-E-027139.jpg
Kagoshima from space
Sakurajima and Kagoshima City Sakurajima n700.jpg
Sakurajima and Kagoshima City
Makurazaki Aerial Makurazaki Kagoshima.jpg
Amami City Amami city1.JPG
Amami City
Tarumizu Tarumizu City Kagoshima 2011.JPG

Nineteen cities are located in Kagoshima Prefecture:

NameArea (km2)PopulationMap
Rōmaji Kanji
Flag of Aira Kagoshima.svg Aira 姶良市231.3275,665 Aira City in Kagoshima Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Akune, Kagoshima.svg Akune 阿久根市134.323,887 Akune in Kagoshima Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Amami, Kagoshima.svg Amami 奄美市308.1542,718 Amami in Kagoshima Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Hioki, Kagoshima.svg Hioki 日置市253.0651,819 Hioki in Kagoshima Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Ibusuki, Kagoshima.svg Ibusuki 指宿市149.0143,931 Ibusuki in Kagoshima Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Ichikikushikino, Kagoshima.svg Ichikikushikino いちき串木野市112.0430,551 Ichikikushikino in Kagoshima Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Isa, Kagoshima.svg Isa 伊佐市392.3630,070 Isa in Kagoshima Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Izumi, Kagoshima.svg Izumi 出水市330.0656,205 Izumi in Kagoshima Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Kagoshima, Kagoshima.svg Kagoshima (capital)鹿児島市547.58595,049 Location of Kagoshima city Kagoshima prefecture Japan.svg
Flag of Kanoya, Kagoshima.svg Kanoya 鹿屋市448.33104,148 Kanoya in Kagoshima Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Kirishima, Kagoshima.svg Kirishima 霧島市603.18124,763 Kirishima in Kagoshima Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Makurazaki, Kagoshima.svg Makurazaki 枕崎市74.8821,960 Makurazaki in Kagoshima Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Minamikyushu, Kagoshima.svg Minamikyūshū 南九州市357.8539,738 Location of Minami-Kyushu city Kagoshima prefecture Japan.svg
Flag of Minamisatsuma, Kagoshima.svg Minamisatsuma 南さつま市283.339,012 Minamisatsuma in Kagoshima Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Nishinoomote, Kagoshima.svg Nishinoomote 西之表市205.7516,418 Nishinoomote in Kagoshima Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Satsumasendai, Kagoshima.svg Satsumasendai 薩摩川内市683.596,411 Satsumasendai in Kagoshima Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Shibushi, Kagoshima.svg Shibushi 志布志市209.0133,724 Shibushi in Kagoshima Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Soo, Kagoshima.svg Soo 曽於市390.3937,038 Soo in Kagoshima Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Tarumizu, Kagoshima.svg Tarumizu 垂水市161.8614,847 Tarumizu in Kagoshima Prefecture Ja.svg


These are the towns and villages in each district:

NameArea (km2)PopulationDistrict

[subprefecture (if any)]

Rōmaji Kanji
Flag of Amagi Kagoshima.svg Amagi 天城町80.356,350 Ōshima District

[ Ōshima Subprefecture]

Town Amagi in Kagoshima Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of China, Kagoshima.svg China 知名町53.295,976 Ōshima District

[ Ōshima Subprefecture]

Town China in Kagoshima Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Higashikushira Kagoshima.JPG Higashikushira 東串良町27.697,122 Kimotsuki District Town Higashikushira in Kagoshima Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Isen, Kagoshima.svg Isen 伊仙町62.76,594 Ōshima District

[ Ōshima Subprefecture]

Town Isen in Kagoshima Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Kikai, Kagoshima.svg Kikai 喜界町56.947,657 Ōshima District

[ Ōshima Subprefecture]

Town Kikai in Kagoshima Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Kimotsuki, Kagoshima.svg Kimotsuki 肝付町308.1215,169 Kimotsuki District Town Kimotsuki in Kagoshima Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Kinko, Kagoshima.svg Kinkō 錦江町163.159,328 Kimotsuki District Town Kinko in Kagoshima Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Minamiosumi, Kagoshima.svg Minamiōsumi 南大隅町213.597,646 Kimotsuki District Town Minamiosumi in Kagoshima Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Minamitane, Kagoshima.svg Minamitane 南種子町110.45,925 Kumage District

[ Kumage Subprefecture]

Town Minamitane in Kagoshima Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Mishima, Kagoshima.svg Mishima 三島村31.36383 Kagoshima District Village Mishima in Kagoshima Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Nagashima, Kagoshima.svg Nagashima 長島町116.1310,124 Izumi District Town Nagashima in Kagoshima Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Nakatanega, Kagoshima.svg Nakatane 中種子町137.788,439 Kumage District

[ Kumage Subprefecture]

Town Nakatane in Kagoshima Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Osaki, Kagoshima.svg Ōsaki 大崎町100.8213,488 Soo District Town Osaki in Kagoshima Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Satsuma, Kagoshima.svg Satsuma さつま町303.4323,842 Satsuma District Town Satsuma in Kagoshima Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Setouchi, Kagoshima.svg Setouchi 瀬戸内町239.929,379 Ōshima District

[ Ōshima Subprefecture]

Town Setouchi in Kagoshima Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Tatsugo, Kagoshima.svg Tatsugō 龍郷町82.085,992 Ōshima District

[ Ōshima Subprefecture]

Town Tatsugo in Kagoshima Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Tokunoshima, Kagoshima.svg Tokunoshima 徳之島町104.8711,673 Ōshima District

[ Ōshima Subprefecture]

Town Tokunoshima in Kagoshima Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Toshima, Kagoshima.svg Toshima 十島村101.35688 Kagoshima District Village Toshima in Kagoshima Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Uken, Kagoshima.svg Uken 宇検村103.071,843 Ōshima District

[ Ōshima Subprefecture]

Village Uken in Kagoshima Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Wadomari, Kagoshima.svg Wadomari 和泊町40.376,929 Ōshima District

[ Ōshima Subprefecture]

Town Wadomari in Kagoshima Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Yakushima, Kagoshima.svg Yakushima 屋久島町540.9813,486 Kumage District

[ Kumage Subprefecture]

Town Yakushima in Kagoshima Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Yamato Kagoshima.JPG Yamato 大和村88.151,638 Ōshima District

[ Ōshima Subprefecture]

Village Yamato in Kagoshima Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Yoron, Kagoshima.svg Yoron 与論町20.495,263 Ōshima District

[ Ōshima Subprefecture]

Town Yoron in Kagoshima Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Yusui, Kagoshima.svg Yūsui 湧水町144.3312,220 Aira District Town Yusui in Kagoshima Prefecture Ja.svg




Kagoshima Prefecture has a distinct and rich food culture. The warm weather and diverse environments allow for the agriculture and aquaculture of Kagoshima to thrive. Numerous restaurants around Kagoshima feature Satsuma Province local cuisine. Popular cuisine incorporating local agriculture include sweet potato, kibinago sashimi (silver-striped herring), buri amberjack, kampachi yellowtail, "Black Label Products" such as kuro-ushi Wagyu beef, kuro-buta Berkshire pork dishes, and kuro-Satsuma jidori chicken (sometimes served as raw, chicken sashimi); smoked eel, keihan, and miki (fermented rice milk consumed among residents of the Amami Islands).[ citation needed ]


Satsuma-age , or deep-fried fish cake, comes in great variety in Kagoshima. Though the deep-fried fishcake can be found throughout the country, the Satsuma Domain (modern-day Kagoshima Prefecture) is commonly believed to be the birthplace of the snack. It is said, though, the concept was introduced from the Ryūkyū Kingdom (modern-day Okinawa Prefecture) by Satsuma Lord, Nariakira Shimazu.


There are many types of sweets produced in Kagoshima Prefecture. Kagoshima-based Seika Foods Co., Ltd. ( Seika shokuhin kabushiki-kaisha ) has produced some of Japan's most popular and timeless sweets such as hyōroku mochi Bontan Ame (ボンタンアメ), Satsuma Imo Caramel (さつまいもキャラメル), and green tea-flavored Hyōroku mochi, Minami "shirokuma" shaved ice desserts, etc. Traditional treats outside of Seika Food Co., Ltd. products include karukan (sweet cakes made from steamed yams and rice flour), jambo-mochi, kokutō brown sugar from the Amami Islands, getanha brown sugar cake, etc.


In 1559, at Kōriyama Hachiman Shrine (郡山八幡神社) in Isa City (伊佐市) a carpenter wrote atop a wooden board "the Shintō Priest of this shrine is too stingy to offer me Shōchū (焼酎) showing an early love for the spirits. Kagoshima Prefecture is officially recognized (by the World Trade Organization) as the home to one of the most traditional beverages of Japan, shōchū. In Kagoshima there are 113+ distilleries, producing about 1,500 highly acclaimed brands, placing Kagoshima in the top for production quantity and shipment. While visiting Kagoshima, one may notice labels reading Honkaku-shōchū (本格焼酎). Honkaku-shōchū is a distilled beverage produced with traditional skills using ingredients such as natural spring water, sweet potatoes, locally grown sugar cane, and grains. Varieties of honkaku-shōchū include Imo-jōchū (芋焼酎), shōchū distilled from sweet potatoes, Mugi-jōchū (麦焼酎), distilled from barley, and Kome-jōchū (米焼酎) distilled from rice. Another type of shōchū is Kokutō-shōchū (黒糖焼酎), shōchū distilled with brown sugar). Shōchū has long gained international favor and has come to be comparable to Bordeaux for wine, Scotch for whiskey, and Cognac for brandy. Also, the Amami Islands of Kagoshima Prefecture are the only areas sanctioned to bear the label of kokutō-shōchū.

Kurozu (黒酢) or black vinegar is another item of the "Black Label Products" of Kagoshima, the other of which is Kokutō-shōchū. There are a number of kurozu farms around Kagoshima, most of which are located around the Kirishima area. Most kurozu farms produce kurozu bottled vinegar (fermented for a single year, 2+ years) along with other items such as salad dressing, powders, capsules, spices, candy, etc. Kurozu also comes in different flavors such as grape, orange, ume plum, etc. though the most popular flavor by far is apple. The farms are open to visitations and often offer tours.


Today, Kagoshima is home to a distinctive dialect of Japanese known as Satsugū dialect (薩隅方言, Satsugū Hōgen) or Kagoshima dialect (鹿児島弁, Kagoshima-ben, or Kagomma-ben), differing from the usual Kyushu dialects with its pronunciations of the yotsugana.

For the most part, Satsugū dialect is mutually unintelligible with Standard Japanese, [8] though most Satsugū speakers know both as a result of language standardization in Japan.

Sport and recreation

Shiranami Stadium. Kamoike140511-01.JPG
Shiranami Stadium.

Kagoshima Rebnise, a professional basketball team, was founded in 2003 and currently competes in the second division of the national B.League. Kagoshima United FC, a football team, was founded in 2014 and competes in the J3 League. Although no major professional baseball teams are based in the prefecture, a number of Kagoshima's ballparks have hosted the spring training camps of Nippon Professional Baseball teams:

The Kirishima-Yaku National Park is located in Kagoshima Prefecture.


Universities and colleges

High schools

Science and technology facilities



Kagoshima-Chuo Station Kagoshima Chuo Station 02.jpg
Kagoshima-Chuo Station
Kagoshima City Tram KagoshimaLRT7003.jpg
Kagoshima City Tram




Expressways and toll roads

National Highways



Notable people

Mythical creatures

Sister relations

See also


  1. "2020年度国民経済計算(2015年基準・2008SNA) : 経済社会総合研究所 - 内閣府". 内閣府ホームページ (in Japanese). Retrieved 2023-05-18.
  2. Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Kagoshima prefecture" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 447 , p. 447, at Google Books.
  3. Nussbaum, "Kagoshima prefecture" at p. 447 , p. 447, at Google Books.
  4. Nussbaum, "Provinces and prefectures" at p. 780 , p. 780, at Google Books.
  5. 自然公園都道府県別面積総括 [General overview of area figures for Natural Parks by prefecture](PDF) (in Japanese). Ministry of the Environment . Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  6. 自然公園 [Natural Parks] (in Japanese). Kagoshima Prefecture. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  7. "Data | Investment Opportunities in Japan's Regions - Investing in Japan - Japan External Trade Organization". 2024.
  8. Okumura, Nao (July 26, 2016). "Japanese Dialect Ideology from Meiji to the Present". Portland State University. p. 9.

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kagoshima</span> Core city in Kyushu, Japan

Kagoshima, officially Kagoshima City, is the capital city of Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. Located at the southwestern tip of the island of Kyūshū, Kagoshima is the largest city in the prefecture by some margin. It has been nicknamed the "Naples of the Eastern world" for its bay location, hot climate, and emblematic stratovolcano, Sakurajima. The city was officially founded on April 1, 1889. It merged with Taniyama City on April 29, 1967 and with Yoshida Town, Sakurajima Town, Kiire Town, Matsumoto Town and Kōriyama Town on November 1, 2004.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kyushu</span> Island and region of Japan

Kyūshū is the third-largest island of Japan's four main islands and the most southerly of the four largest islands. In the past, it has been known as Kyūkoku, Chinzei and Tsukushi-no-shima. The historical regional name Saikaidō referred to Kyushu and its surrounding islands. Kyushu has a land area of 36,782 square kilometres (14,202 sq mi) and a population of 14,311,224 in 2018.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Satsuma Province</span> Former province of Japan

Satsuma Province was an old province of Japan that is now the western half of Kagoshima Prefecture on the island of Kyūshū. Its abbreviation was Sasshū (薩州).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tanegashima</span> Island within Ōsumi Islands

Tanegashima (種子島) is one of the Ōsumi Islands belonging to Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. The island, 444.99 km2 in area, is the second largest of the Ōsumi Islands, and has a population of 33,000 people. Access to the island is by ferry, or by air to New Tanegashima Airport. Administratively, the island is divided into the city, Nishinoomote, and the two towns, Nakatane and Minamitane. The towns belong to Kumage District.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Yakushima</span> Island within Ōsumi Islands

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<i>Shōchū</i> Distilled alcoholic beverage from Japan

Shōchū is a Japanese distilled beverage. It is typically distilled from rice, barley, sweet potatoes, buckwheat, or brown sugar, though it is sometimes produced from other ingredients such as chestnut, sesame seeds, potatoes, or even carrots.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tokunoshima</span> Island within Ryukyu Islands

Tokunoshima, also known in English as Tokuno Island, is an island in the Amami archipelago of the southern Satsunan Islands of Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kirishima-Kinkowan National Park</span> National park in Kyūshū, Japan

Kirishima-Kinkowan National Park is a national park in Kyūshū, Japan. It is composed of Kirishima-Kagoshima Bay, an area of Kagoshima Prefecture and Miyazaki Prefecture known for its active volcanoes, volcanic lakes, and onsen. The total area is 365.86 square kilometres (141.26 sq mi).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ōsumi Islands</span> Group of islands within Ryukyu Islands

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ryukyu Islands</span> Chain of Japanese islands that stretch southwest from Kyushu to Taiwan

The Ryukyu Islands, also known as the Nansei Islands or the Ryukyu Arc, are a chain of Japanese islands that stretch southwest from Kyushu to Taiwan: the Ōsumi, Tokara, Amami, Okinawa, and Sakishima Islands, with Yonaguni the westernmost. The larger are mostly volcanic islands and the smaller mostly coral. The largest is Okinawa Island.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kikaijima</span> Island within Ryukyu Islands

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Okinoerabujima</span> Island within Ryukyu Islands

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Satsunan Islands</span> Group of islands that forms the northern part of the Ryukyu Islands

The Satsunan Islands is a geopolitical name for a group of islands that forms the northern part of the Ryukyu Islands. The whole island group belongs to Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kagoshima dialect</span> Japanese dialect

The Satsugū dialect, often referred to as the Kagoshima dialect, is a group of dialects or dialect continuum of the Japanese language spoken mainly within the area of the former Ōsumi and Satsuma provinces now incorporated into the southwestern prefecture of Kagoshima. It may also be collectively referred to as the Satsuma dialect, owing to both the prominence of the Satsuma Province and the region of the Satsuma Domain which spanned the former Japanese provinces of Satsuma, Ōsumi and the southwestern part of Hyūga. The Satsugū dialect is commonly cited for its mutual unintelligibility to even its neighboring Kyūshū variants, prompting the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology to classify it as a distinct language in the Japanesic branch in its Glottolog database. It shares over three-quarters of the Standard Japanese vocabulary corpus and some areal features of Kyūshū.

The outline of the History of Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan is described herein.


31°24′N130°31′E / 31.400°N 130.517°E / 31.400; 130.517