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> Any Idea?
Chris Jones
post Aug 20 2006, 03:34 AM
Post #1


Hi Mrs. Nikula,

Now that i've read all about these islands that you are going to; do you have any idea what the names of the islands actually mean and which ones are Russian or Japanese names?? I don't remember you saying in any of your jorunal entries so far, unless i missed it so...I will check again. I will also do some research of my own to see what i can come up with. Thank you!


Hope all is well,
Chris Jones~
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post Sep 3 2006, 08:48 AM
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I hope that you are enjoying your summer! Thanks for the good question. This is what I have been able to determine about the origin of the Kuril Island names. I spoke briefly with Kauru Tezuka and Tetsuya Amano, who work in Hokkaido and have both studied this area extensively. They told me that all of the islands have names that come from the Ainu language. Unfortunately, this language has been lost and so trying to translate them into English is not easy. We can make guesses at the names, but we can't be sure. For example, Amano says that Paramushir probably means Big Land and Onekotan probably means "One Village" but these are merely guesses based on other languages spoken in Hokkaido and Kamchatka.

All of the place names are Russian words, however. Kauru said that when the Japanese lived here, the place names were Japanese and when the Russian colonization began, the names were all changed to Russian words. For example, Vodopodnaya means waterfall, and Pernatoye means feather.

Thanks for following along. Hope that you are enjoying the journals and your summer!
Mrs. N-O
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