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Izu-shichito

("Seven Islands of Izu"), archipelago off Honshu, Japan, stretching southward into the Pacific Ocean for about 190 miles (300 km) from Tokyo Bay. Administratively part of Tokyo to (metropolis), the volcanic islands are (north to south) O, To, Nii, Shikine, Kozu, Miyake, and Mikura. The islands form the northernmost part of the Izu Archipelago, which also includes Hachijo, Aoga, and Tori islands. O Island, the largest of the Seven Islands group, is 35 square miles (91 square km) in area. It was known to Western cartographers as Vries Island, after the Dutch navigator Martin Heritzoon de Vries, who reached it in 1643. The islands were used by the Japanese as convict settlements after the 12th century. They are now known for their production of camellia oil, their scenic beauty, and Mount Mihara volcano (2,487 feet [758 m]), on O Island, which is periodically active (a sizable eruption occurred in 1986). The Izu Islands are part of Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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