Tsushima Strait

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Tsushima Strait— East of both the Tsushima Islands and Korea Strait

The Tsushima Strait (対馬海峡, also known in Western historical reference works as the Tsu Shima Strait or Tsu-Shima Strait) is the eastern channel of the Korea Strait between Kyushu, the westernmost and largest of the four main islands of Japan, and is bounded to the south by Honshu. It connects the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea (in Korea known as the South Sea and the East Sea respectively).

The Strait measures approximately 60 miles (97 kilometres) long and 40 miles (64 kilometres) wide. The strait has a depth of about 90 metres and is bounded by the Tsushima Islands to the west. Nearby Iki Island lies in the strait about 50 [km] towards Kyusu from the southern tip of Kamino-shima (South Island).

While the eastern channel of the Korea Strait is also referred to as Tsushima Strait, the West Channel is simply refered as the Korea Strait.

A branch of the Kuroshio (Japan Current) passes through the strait. It is the warm branch called Tsushima Current. Originating along the Japanese islands this current passed through the Sea of Japan then divides along either shore of Sakhalin Island; eventually flowing into the Northern Pacific Ocean via the Strait north of Hokkaido and into the Sea of Okhotsk north of Sakhalin Island near Vladivostok.

Historically these narrows along with the Korea Strait served (metaphorically) as a the stream one jumped across to the successive Islands and peninsula's "stepping stones" (along with nearby Iki Island and the western tip of Honshu) for cultural exchange between Japan and Korea. They also occasionally served as an invasion path — in both directions. For example, Archeologists believe the first migrations of the Mongoloid race traveled across to Honshu ca. 700s BC, and Buddhism was transmitted from Baekje to Japan over this strait long before sea going ships were available. Iki to Kamino-shima, the southern large island of the small Tsushimna Archipelago.

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Iki Island lying in Tsushima Strait 50 km off Kamino-shima (South Island) of Tsushima Archepelego.

The Mongolian invasion of Japan crossed this sea and ravaged the Tsushima Islands before the Kamikaze (神風 kamikaze) — usually translated as divine wind — a typhoon that is said to have saved Japan from a Mongol invasion fleet led by Kublai Khan in 1281. The Korean Armed Forces have attacked Japan through it, and vice versa.

One of the most decisive naval battles of modern times, the Battle of Tsushima, fought on May 27 and May 28, 1905 (May 14 and 15 in the Julian calendar then in use in Russia) took place here due east of the north island of Tsushima and due north of Iki Island (shown in red on the second map) between the Japanese and Russian navies in 1905, during the Russo-Japanese War; the Russian fleet was virtually destroyed by the Japanese. A commercial ferry service operates between Shimonoseki at the western tip of Honshu and Busan (aka Pusan), South Korea.

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