Kagoshima (käˌgōˈshĭmä) [key], city (1990 pop. 536,752), capital of Kagoshima prefecture, extreme S Kyushu, Japan, on Satsuma Peninsula and Kagoshima Bay. An important port, it has a navy yard. The city's industries produce Satsuma porcelain ware, textiles, and metal and wood products, and its hot springs make it a popular tourist attraction. It is the seat of two universities and is historically important as the castle town of the Shimazu family and as the birthplace of Takamori Saigo, Toshimichi Okubo, and Heihachiro Togo. The center of the Satsuma Rebellion, the city was destroyed in 1877. In 1914 it suffered damage from the eruption of a volcano on Sakurajima, then an island in the bay, and it was bombed (1945) in World War II. It was at Kagoshima that St. Francis Xavier landed in 1549. Kagoshima prefecture (1990 pop. 1,797,766), 3,515 sq mi (9,104 sq km), is largely mountainous, with gold, silver, iron, and copper mines. There is some lumbering and agriculture in the rough interior, while fishing is important along the coast. Kagoshima prefecture is the site of two Japanese rocket launch centers.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Japanese Political Geography