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Sakhalin (Russian: Сахалин, pronounced [səxɐˈlʲin]; also known as Kuye (simplified Chinese: 库页; traditional Chinese: 庫頁; pinyin: Kùyè); Japanese: Karafuto (樺太?) or Saharin (サハリン?)), also Saghalien, is a large island in the North Pacific, lying between 45°50' and 54°24' N. It is part of Russia and is its largest island, administered as part of Sakhalin Oblast. The indigenous peoples of the island are the Sakhalin Ainu, Oroks and Nivkhs.[2] Most Ainu relocated to Hokkaidō when Japanese were displaced from the island in 1949.[3] Sakhalin was claimed by both Russia and Japan in the course of the 19th and 20th centuries, which led to bitter disputes between the two countries over the control of the island.

The European names derive from misinterpretation of a Manchu name sahaliyan ula angga hada ("peak/craggy rock at the mouth of the Amur River"). Sahaliyan, the word that has been borrowed in the form of "Sakhalin", means "black" in Manchu and is the proper Manchu name of the Amur River (sahaliyan ula, literally "Black River" ; see Sikhote-Alin). Its Japanese name, Karafuto (樺太?), supposedly comes from Ainu kamuy kar put ya mosir (abbreviated to Karput), which means "Land/Island/Country at the Shore of the God-Made (River) Mouth/Confluence."[citation needed] The name was used by the Japanese during their possession of its southern part (1905–1945).


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