YEZO, or Ezo, the most northerly of the five principal islands forming the Japanese empire, the five being Yezo, Nippon, Shikoku, Kiushiu and Formosa. It is situated between 450 30' and 41° 21' N. and between 146° 7' and 139° II' E.; its coast-line measures 1423.32 m., and it has an area of 30,148.41 sq. m. On the N. it is separated from Sakhalin by Soya Strait (La Perouse) and on the S. from Nippon by Tsugaru Strait. Its northern shores are washed by the Sea of Okhotsk, its southern and eastern by the Pacific Ocean, and its western by the Sea of Japan. Orography.—The highest mountain in the island is Ishikaridake (6955 ft.) and the next in importance is Tokachi-dake (6541 ft.). Yubari-take in Ishikari has a height of 65o8 ft., and in the province of Kushiro are 0-akan-dake (447o ft.) and Meakan-take (4500 ft.). Dr Rein's investigations led him to state that Tokachi-dake forms a species of central elevation whence most of the principal rivers flow towards the sea, and that the mountain system is a continuation, on the WV., of the Sakhalin range, and on the E. of the Kuriles range; the former consisting of granite and old schists, the latter chiefly of volcanic formations. Near Hakodate are two conspicuous volcanic peaks, Komaga-take (3822 ft.) and Tokatsu-dake (3800 ft.) ; and 24 M. from Kushiro (by rail) is a volcano called Atosa-nobori, or Iwo-zan (sulphur mountain), whence great quantities of first-rate sulphur are exported to the United States. Mention must also be made of Rishiri, an islet on the extreme N.W. of Yezo, which has a peak of the same name rising to a height of nearly 6000 ft. Rivers.—Yezo boasts the largest river in the Japanese empire, the Ishikari-gawa, which is estimated to measure 275 M. Its other large rivers are the Teshio-gawa (192 M.), the Tokachi-gawa (120 M.), the Shiribeshi-gawa (88 m.), the Kushiro-gawa (81 m.), the Toshibetsu-gawa (64 m.), and the Yubetsu-gawa (64 m.). The valley of the Ishikari is believed to be the most fertile part of the island; the Tokachi is navigable to a point 56 m. from its mouth, but the Teshio has a bar which renders its approach extremely difficult. A peculiarity of several of the rivers is that, on approaching the sea-shore, they run parallel to it for some distance before finding an exit. Those flowing to the S. coast take a W. direction, those flowing to the E. coast a N. direction. This is attributed to the fact that the prevailing winds set up the sand so as to deflect the rivers from their straight course. Nearly all these rivers abound with salmon, the most remarkable in that respect being the Nishibetsu-gawa, which yields an average of over 2000 tons of fish annually. Lakes.—There are no large lakes, the most extensive—Toyako, Shikotsuko and Kushiroko—not having a circumference of more than 25 m. Lagoons, however, are not uncommon. The largest of these—Saruma-ko in Kitami—is some 17 M. long by 7 wide. It abounds with oysters nearly as large as those for which the much smaller lagoon at Akkeshi is famous, the molluscs measuring about 18 in. in length. Climate.—The climate differs markedly from that of the main island of Japan, resembling rather the climate of the British Isles, though the winter is longer and more severe, and the atmosphere in the warm season contains a greater quantity of moisture. During five months the country is under snow, its depth averaging about 2 ft. in the regions along the southern coast and more than 6 ft. in the northern and western regions. An ice-drift, setting from the north and working southwards as far as Nemuro, stops all sea trade on the E. coast during January, February and March, though the W. coast is protected by the warm current of the Kuro-shiwo. Fogs prevail along the E. coast during the summer months, and it is not uncommon to find a damp, chilly atmosphere near the sea in July, whereas, a mile inland, the thermometer stands at 8o° or 9o° F. in the shade, and magnolia trees are in full blossom. Zoology.—Tsugaru Strait has been shown by Captain T. W. Blakiston, R.A., to form a line of zoological division. Pheasants and monkeys are not found on the Yezo side of this line, though they abound on Nippon, and, on the other hand, Yezo has grouse and solitary snipe which do not exist in Nippon. The Yezo bear, too, i* of a distinct species, and the island has an abundance of singing birds which are absent S. of the strait. There are also notable differences in the flora, the trees and flowers of Yezo resembling those of the British Isles rather than those of Japan. Population.—The island seems to have been originally peopled by a semi-barbarous race of pit-dwellers, whose modern representatives are to be found in the Kuriles or their neighbours of Kamchatka and Sakhalin. These autochthons were drivenout by the Ainu, and the latter, in their turn, succumbed to the Japanese. The population of Yezo is 605,742, of whom 17,573 are Ainu. There is a steadily growing but not large emigration from Japan proper to Yezo. Yezo is divided into ten provinces, the names of which, beginning from the S., are Oshima, Shiribeshi, Ishikari, Teshio, Kitami, Iburi, Hidaka, Tokachi, Kushiro and Nemuro. Of these, Oshima, Shiribeshi and Ishikari are by far the most important. There are only three towns having a population of over 20,000, viz. Hakodate (50,314), Sapporo (46,147) and Otaru (34,586). Other towns of importance are Fukuyama (formerly called Matsumae), the seat of government in feudal days, Esashi, Mombetsu, Oiwake, Tomakomai, Piratori (the chief Ainu settlement), Mororan, Kushiro, Akkeshi, Nemuro, Horobetsu, Yunokawa, Abashiri and Mashike. Yunokawa, 4 m. from Hakodate, is much frequented for its hot springs; Oiwake is the junction of the main line of railway with the branch to the Yubari collieries; Kushiro exports coal and sulphur; Akkeshi is celebrated for its oysters. Industries and Products.—Marine products constitute the principal wealth of Yezo. Great quantities of salmon, sardines and codfish are taken. The salmon are salted for export to Nippon and other parts of Japan; the sardines are used as an agricultural fertilizer, their value varying from f2 to £5 per ton; and the cod-fish serve for the manufacture of oil. An immense crop of edible seaweed is also gathered and sent to Chinese markets as well as to Japanese. This kombu, as it is called, sometimes reaches a length of 90 ft. and a width of 6 in. The herring fishery, too, is a source of wealth, and the canning of Akkeshi oysters as well as of salmon gives employment to many hands. Vast tracts are covered with a luxuriant growth of ash, oak, elm, birch, chestnut and pine, but, owing to difficulties of carriage, this supply of timber has not yet been much utilized. One of the earliest acts of the Meiji government was to develop the resources of Yezo and encourage Japanese to emigrate thither. Free grants of agricultural land were made, roads were constructed, model farms established, beet-sugar factories and sawmills opened, horse-breeding undertaken, foreign fruit trees planted and railways laid. The outlays incurred did not immediately bear fruit, but they attracted large numbers of settlers. During recent years attention has been attracted to the mineral resources of Yezo. Coal of fair quality is abundant, and a railway has been built for its carriage; an apparently inexhaustible supply of sulphur is obtained from a mountain near Kushiro lake; petroleum seems likely to pay exploiters, and in 1899 gold was discovered at Usotannai, Pankanai and other places along the Poropetsu river, near Esashi in Kitami province. Communications.—The roads are few and in bad order, but there is a railway which, setting out from Hakodate in the extreme S., runs, via Sapporo and Iwamizawa, to the extreme N., with branches from Iwamizawa, S. to Mororan and E. to Poronai, and from Oiwake N.E to the Yubari coal-mines. There is also a line W. along the S. coast from Nemuro. In districts beyond the railway, travelling is done on horseback, there being an abundant supply of ponies. There is good coastwise communication by steamer. History.—Yezo was not brought under Japan's effective control until medieval times. In 1604 the island was granted in fief to Matsumae Yoshihiro, whose ancestor had overrun it, and from the close of the 18th century the E. was governed by officials sent by the shogun, whose attention had been attracted to it by Russian trespassers. In 1871 the task of developing its resources and administering its affairs was entrusted to a special bureau, which employed American agriculturists to assist the work and American engineers to construct roads and rail-ways; but in 1881 this bureau was abolished, and the government abandoned to private hands the various enterprises it had inaugurated.
The largest, and one of the finest in the world, is that of Marshall Field. The first tunnel was completed in 1867. The capacity of the tunnels was estimated in 1900 by two very competent authorities at 528 and 615 million gallons daily, respectively. The average daily supply in 1909 was 475,000,000 gallons; there were then 16.6 m. of tunnels below the lake. The wastes of the city—street washings, building sewage, the offal of slaughter-houses, and wastes of distilleries and rendering houses—were originally turned into the lake, but before 187o it was discovered that the range of impurity extended already a mile into the lake, half-way to the water " crib," and it became evident that the lake could not be indefinitely contaminated. The Illinois and Michigan Canal, for which the right of way was granted in 1821 and which was built in 1836–1841 and 184 1848, and opened in 1848 (cost, $6,557,681) ,was once thought to have solved the difficulty; it is connected with the main (southern) branch of the Chicago river, 5 m. from its mouth, with the Illinois river at La Salle, the head of steamer navigation on the Illinois river, and is the natural successor in the evolution of transportation of the old Chicago portage, z m. in length, between the Chicago river and the headwaters of the Kankakee; it was so deepened as to draw water out from the lake, whose waters thus flowed toward the Gulf of Mexico. It is about 96 m. long, 40-42 ft. wide, and 4-7 ft. deep, but proved inadequate for the disposal of sewage. A solution of the problem was imperative by 1876, but almost all the wastes of the city continued nevertheless to be poured into the lake. In 1890 a sanitary district, including part of the city and certain suburban areas to be affected, was organized, and preparations made for building a greater canal that should do effectively the work it was once thought the old canal could do. The new drainage canal, one of the greatest sanitary works of the world, constructed between 1892 and 1900 under the control of the trustees of the Sanitary District of Chicago (cost up to 1901, $35,448,291), joins the south branch of the Chicago with the Desplaines river, and so with the Illinois and Mississippi, and is 28.5 M. long,' of which 15 M. were cut through rock; it is 22 ft. deep and has a minimum width of 164 ft. The canal, or sewer, is flushed with water from Lake Michigan, and its waters are pure within a flow of 150 m.4 Its capacity, which was not at first fully utilized, is 600,000 cub. ft. per minute, sufficient entirely to renew the water of the Chicago river daily. A system of intercepting sewers to withdraw drainage into the lake was begun in 1898; and the construction of a canal to drain the Calumet region was begun in 1910. The Illinois and Michigan canal is used by small craft, and the new drainage canal also may be used for shipping in view of the Federal government's improvements of the rivers connecting it with the Mississippi for the construction of a ship-canal for large vessels. The canal also made possible the development (begun in 1903) of enormous Total excavation, 42,397,904 cub. yds. ; of solid rock, 12,265,000. 4 It has been conclusively proved that the Illinois is purer than the Mississippi at their junction. The undiluted sewage of the old canal drove the fish from the river, but they have come back since the opening of the new canal. hydraulic power for the use of the city. The Illinois and Michigan Canal has been supplemented by the Illinois and Mississippi Canal, commonly known as " the Hennepin," from its starting at the great bend of the Illinois river 1'-h m. above Hennepin, not far below La Salle; the first appropriation for it was made in 189o, and work was begun in 1892 and completed in October 1907. Its course from Hennepin is by the Bureau Creek valley to the mouth of Queen river on the Rock river, thence by the Rock river and a canal around its rapids at Milan to its mouth at Rock Island on the Mississippi river. This barge canal is 8o ft. wide at water-line, 52 ft. wide at the bottom, and 7 ft. deep. Its main feeder is the Rock river, dammed by a dam nearly 15oo ft. long between Sterling and Rock Falls, Illinois, where the opening of the canal was celebrated on the 24th of October 1907. Beginning with 1892 steam railways began the elevation (or depression) of their main tracks, of which there were in 1904 some 838 m. within the city. Another great improvement was begun in 1901 by a private telephone company. This is an elaborate system of freight subways, more than 65 m. of which, underlying the entire business district,had been constructed before 1909. It is the only subway system in the world that seeks to clear the streets by the lessening of trucking, in place of devoting itself to the transportation of passengers. Direct connexion is made with the freight stations of all railways and the basements of important business buildings, and coal, building materials, ashes and garbage, railway luggage, heavy mail and other kinds of heavy freight are expeditiously removed and delivered. Telegraph and telephone wires are carried through the tunnel, and can be readily repaired. The last years of the l9th century showed, however, an inevitable loss to Chicago in the growth of Duluth, Kansas City and other rivals in strategic situations. In particular, the struggle of the North and South railway lines in the Mississippi Valley to divert to ports on the Gulf of Mexico grain and other freight caused great losses to Chicago. An enormous increase in the cereal trade of Philadelphia, Baltimore, Newport News and Norfolk was partly due to the traffic eastward over lines S. of Chicago. The traffic of the routes through Duluth and Canada does not, indeed, represent in the main actual losses, for the traffic is largely a new growth; but there has been nevertheless a considerable drain to these routes from American territory once tributary to Chicago. Altogether the competition of the Gulf roads and the lines running S.W. from Duluth had largely excluded Chicago by 1899 (according to her Board of Trade) from the grain trade W. of the Missouri river, and in conjunction with southerly E. and W. routes had made serious inroads upon trade E. of that river. Its facilities for receiving and distributing remain neverthel8ss unequalled, and it still practically monopolizes the traffic between the northern Atlantic seaboard and the West. New York alone, among American cities, has a greater trade. Chicago is the greatest railway centre, the greatest grain market, the greatest live-stock market and meat-packing centre, and the greatest lumber. market of the world. The clearings of her 'associated banks amounted to $13,781,843,61 2 in the year 1909. The wholesale trade was estimated in 1875 at $293,900,000 and in 1905 at $1,781,000,000. The average annual grain receipts (including flour in wheat equivalent) in the five years 1900-1904 amounted to 265,500,000 bu. (12,902,310 in 1854; 72,369,194 in 1875), and the shipments to 209,862,966 bu. The first shipment of wheat was of 78 bu. in 1838. The grain elevators are among the sights of Chicago. They are enormous storehouses into which the grain is elevated from ships and cars, sorted into grades and reloaded for shipment; all the work is done by machinery. Their capacity.in 1904 was 65,140,000 bu .2 In the same quinquennial period, 1900-1904, the average yearly receipts of lumber aggregated 1,807,066,000 ft.,3 and of shingles, 410,711 thousand; of cattle, 3,078,734; of hogs, 8,334,904; of sheep, 3,338,291; of butter, 239,696,921 lb; the exports of hides, 167,442,077 lb; of dressed beef, 1,126,995,490 lb; of 2 In 1900-1904 the average freight rate per bushel of wheat to New York was $0.04998 by the all-water; '1•.1o554 by the all-rail route. In 1859 it cost $o.1575 to send a bushel of corn to Buffalo by water; in 1890, $0.019., It has been above 1,000,000,000 ft. since 187o, and has in some years risen to 2,000,000,000. lard, 410,688,319 lb; of pork, 191,371 bbl.; of other hog products, 690,503,394 lb. The combined tonnage in and out averaged 14,135,406 tons.' There is a large direct trade with Europe, mainly in goods that come in bond by rail from Atlantic ports. In 1907 the value of Chicago's imports was $27,058,662, and of its exports, $5,643,3oz. The value of manufactures (from establishments under the " factory system ") in 1900 was $797,879,141, 71'2% of all those of Illinois, and in 1905 was $955,036,277, 67.7% of all those of the state; in both these years Chicago was second only to New York City.