Sakhalin And Curils Islands II.
Anyway, the other mystery could be also the ethnical nationality of original inhabitants of the islands before the first Europeans and Japanese came there in 17th century. As far as the original inhabitants are concerned, these were the Ains - (they lived in Curil Islands and in south of Sakhalin) and Nivks (they inhabitated the north of Sakhalin Island). Moreover, the Oroks lived probably inside central and north parts of the island.
The expedition of M.G. de Vries, Dutch seafarer, was the first European group effected towards Curil and Sakhalin banks: This man investigated and put into maps south-east part of Sakhalin and South Curils, but he also decalred Urup Island as the Dutch territory (nevertheless, this fact was of no importance for the future). On the other hand, the Russian travellers played great role, as far as the investigation of Sakhalin and Curils Islands are concerned. In 1646, there was an expedition of V. D. Poyarkow (1643-1646), which discovered north-west coast of Sakhalin, and consequently, in 1697, another man, V.V. Atlasow, discovered Curil Islands. So, it begins their belonging to Russia. Nevertheless, also Japanese start to penetrate to this area, at the same time with Russians. (they marched along Curil from the north towards South Curils and South Sakhalin). So, just in the second half of 18th century, Japanese factories are appearing there, and Japanese sailors made fishing here, and within second half of 18th century, scientific expeditions of Mamiya Rinza and Mogami Tokunai started to work there.
At the end of 18th century, French expedition, led by La Perouse, and English vessel, under leadership of W.R. Broughton, made some investigations there, and just they presented to the world a theory that Sakhalin would be a peninsula. Nevertheless, the expedition of G. I. Newelsky, effected within 1849-1855, settled finally its island´s character, when a straits among the island and a continent was discovered. After his findings, the joining of Sakhalin to Russia was effected. Shortly afterthat, Russian military stands and communities were established. However, in the course of 1869-1906, Sakhalin became the biggest convict´s colony.
Since beginning of 19th century, Sakhalin and Curils became serious objects of Russian-Japanese dispute. Within 1806-1807, the Russian sailors destroyed in south Sakhalin and Iturup Island all Japanese communities. As a reply, the Japanese captured V.M.Golovin, Russian seafarer in Kunashir Island. Anyway, Russian-Japanese border changed several times in the course of last two centuries.
In 1855, in accordance with Russian-Japanese agreement, there was stated a frontier between Urup and Iturup Islands, anyway, Sakhalin Island became undivided. In 1875, Russia handed over Japan North Curil Islands, and obtained, as a change, all rights to Sakhalin Island. As a consequence of Russian defeat in Russia-Japan war during 1904-1905, Japan succeeded to tear off south part of Sakhalin. Later, during 1920-1925, Japanese occupied north part of the island. For the last time, the frontier changed in 1945, when Russia, as a consequence of their victory in 2nd World War, got back south Sakhalin and Curil Islands.
As far as the territory is concerned, Curil Islands belong to Sakhalin area. Anyway, this fact does not mean that beween Sakhalin and Curil Islands exist some regular traffic. Frankly speaking, Sakhalin and Curil Islands are quite distant from each other. The flight by airplane takes two hours, and if you choose the way by vessel, the travelling to Juzno-Sakhalinsk would také nearly 24 hours.
Text: Maxim Kucer
Translation: ing. Jan Jonáš
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