Strait of Tartary

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Strait of Tartary (Gulf of Tartary, Gulf of Tatary, Tatar Strait, Tartar Strait, Strait of Tartar, also Chinese: 韃靼海峽 , Japanese: 間宮海峡, Mamiya Strait, Russian Татарский пролив) is a strait in the Pacific Ocean dividing the Russian island of Sakhalin from mainland Asia (South-East Russia), connecting the Sea of Okhotsk on the north with the Sea of Japan on the south. It is 900 km long,[citation needed] 4–20 m deep, and 7.3 km wide at the narrowest point.



The name Tartars had long been used by Europeans for various peoples of Inner Asia and Northern Asia. Since the Manchus' rise to prominence in 1644, the name "Tartars" became applied to them as well,[1] and Manchuria (and Mongolia) became known to the Europeans as the "Chinese Tartary".[2] Accordingly, when La Pérouse charted most of the strait between Sakhalin and the mainland "Chinese Tartary" in 1787, the body of water received the name of the Strait (or Channel, or Gulf) of Tartary.

In Japan, the strait is named after Mamiya Rinzo, who traveled to the strait in 1808[3] whereof the name was introduced by Philipp Franz von Siebold in his book Nippon: Archiv zur Beschreibung von Japan (1832-54).

On Russian maps, the short narrowest section of the strait (south of the mouth of the Amur) is called Strait of Nevelskoy, after Admiral Gennady Nevelskoy, who explored the area in 1848; the body of water north of there, into which the Amur River flows, is the Amur Liman; and the name of "Strait of Tartary" is reserved for the largest section of the body of water, south of Strait of Nevelskoy.

Recent history

S-117 was a Soviet Shchuka class submarine that was lost on or about 15 December 1952, due to unknown causes in the Strait of Tartary in the Sea of Japan. The boat may have collided with a surface ship or struck a mine. All forty-seven crewmen died in the incident.

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