Due north of the Japanese island of Yezo lies in the Sea of Okhotsk the long island known to the Russians as Sakhalin and to the Japanese as Karafuto.

Under the terms of the Treaty of Portsmouth, signed at Portsmouth, N. H., in 1905, Russia ceded a southern portion of the island to Japan. That was part of the price paid by Russia for losing the Russo-Japanese War (1904-5). Now Sakhalin, or Karafuto, is rich in alluvial gold and coal deposits. Its surface is covered by vast forests...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!