In the 8th century Taihō Code reforms, Dazaifu was established as a special administrative term for the region.
As of 2016, Kyushu has a population of 12,970,479 and covers 36,782 square kilometres.
The island is mountainous, and Japan's most active volcano, Mt Aso at 1,591 metres (5,220 ft), is on Kyushu. There are many other signs of tectonic activity, including numerous areas of hot springs. The most famous of these are in Beppu, on the east shore, and around Mt. Aso, in central Kyushu. The island is separated from Honshu by the Kanmon Straits.
The name Kyūshū comes from the nine ancient provinces of Saikaidō situated on the island: Chikuzen, Chikugo, Hizen, Higo, Buzen, Bungo, Hyūga, Osumi, and Satsuma.
Today's Kyushu Region (九州地方, Kyūshū-chihō) is a politically defined region that consists of the seven prefectures on the island of Kyushu (which also includes the former Tsushima and Iki as part of Nagasaki), plus Okinawa Prefecture to the south:
Most of Kyushu's population is concentrated along the northwest, in the cities of Fukuoka and Kitakyushu, with population corridors stretching southwest into Sasebo and Nagasaki and south into Kumamoto and Kagoshima. Excepting Oita and Miyazaki cities, the eastern seaboard shows a general decline in population.
Kyushu is described as a stronghold of the LDP political party.
Parts of Kyushu have a subtropical climate, particularly Miyazaki prefecture and Kagoshima prefecture. Major agricultural products are rice, tea, tobacco, sweet potatoes, and soy; silk is also widely produced. The island is noted for various types of porcelain, including Arita, Imari, Satsuma, and Karatsu. Heavy industry is concentrated in the north around Fukuoka, Kitakyushu, Nagasaki, and Oita and includes chemicals, automobiles, semiconductors, and metal processing.
In 2010, the graduate employment rate in the region was the lowest nationwide, at 88.9%.
Besides the volcanic area of the south, there are significant mud hot springs in the northern part of the island, around Beppu. These springs are the site of occurrence of certain extremophile micro-organisms, that are capable of surviving in extremely hot environments.
Japanese motor manufacturer Lexus has a large, state of the art, manufacturing plant in Kyushu.
Major universities and colleges in Kyushu:
The island is linked to the larger island of Honshu by the Kanmon Tunnels, which carry both the San'yō Shinkansen and non-Shinkansen trains of the Kyushu Railway Company, as well as vehicular, pedestrian, and bicycle traffic. The Kanmon Bridge also connects the island with Honshu. Railways on the island are operated by the Kyushu Railway Company, and Nishitetsu Railway.