Japonski Island

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Japonski Island
Native name: Yak'w Kashaneixí
Location ABC islands of Alaska
Archipelago Alexander Archipelago
United States
State Alaska
Population 269 (2000)

Japonski Island, or Yak'w Kashaneixí,[1] is a small island in the city of Sitka in the Alexander Archipelago of southeastern Alaska, United States. It lies across the Sitka Channel from Sitka's central business district.

The Russians named the island Japonski (Russian for "Japanese") after some Japanese fishermen who were stranded there in 1805 (unnamed Russians returned them to Yezo (Hokkaidō) in 1806).[2]

Japonski Island is connected to Baranof Island and Sitka by the O'Connell Bridge. Before the bridge there was a ferry system similar to that which currently exists in Ketchikan. The shoreboats that maintained the transportation link between Japonski and the rest of Sitka were the Donna, Teddy, Dorothy, Diane, and Arrowhead.[citation needed]

Japonski Island is home to Sitka Rocky Gutierrez Airport; the Sitka branch campus of the University of Alaska Southeast; Mt. Edgecumbe High School — a state-run boarding school for rural Alaskans; the Indian Health Service regional hospital SEARHC (SouthEast Alaska Regional Healthcare Center); a United States Coast Guard air station; the port and facilities for the USCGC Maple; and the restored boathouse maintained by the Sitka Maritime Heritage Society. Besides the Coast Guard housing complex, there are very few Sitkans who live on Japonski Island. The official population was 269 persons at the 2000 census. The land area of Japonski Island, including the connected nearby much smaller islands such as Virublennoi (Rus. for "harvested" or "cut out"), Sasedni (Rus. for "Neighbour"), Kirushkin (prob. a Russian surname), Makhnati (Rus. for "shaggy") and smaller islets, was 1.467 square kilometres (363 acres).


  1. ^ Joseph, Charlie; Brady, I.; Makinen, E.; David, R.; Davis, V.; Johnson, A.; Lord, N. (2001). "Sheet’kwaan Aani Aya". Sitka Tribe of Alaska. Archived from the original on 25 July 2008. Retrieved 27 October 2009. 
  2. ^ *Webber, Bert (1984). Wrecked Japanese Junks adrift in the North Pacific Ocean. Ye Galleon Press, Fairfield, Washington. ISBN 0-87770-290-X. 

Coordinates: 57°03′08″N 135°21′36″W / 57.05222°N 135.36000°W / 57.05222; -135.36000