Kurilsk; , Shana) is a town
Types of settlements in Russia
The classification system of the types of inhabited localities in Russia, the former Soviet Union, and some other post-Soviet states has certain peculiarities compared to the classification systems in other countries.-Modern classification in Russia:...

 in Sakhalin Oblast
Sakhalin Oblast
Sakhalin Oblast is a federal subject of Russia comprising the island of Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands.The oblast has an area of 87,100 km² and a population of 546,695...

, Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, situated on the island
An island or isle is any piece of sub-continental land that is surrounded by water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atolls can be called islets, cays or keys. An island in a river or lake may be called an eyot , or holm...

 of Iturup
Iturup is the largest island of the South Kuril Islands. It is the northernmost island in the southern Kuril/Chishima islands, and though it is presently controlled by Russia, Japan also claims this island...

. It is the administrative center of Kurilsky District
Kurilsky District
Kurilsky District is an administrative district , one of the 17 in Sakhalin Oblast, Russia....

. Population: 2,233 (2002 Census
Russian Census (2002)
Russian Census of 2002 was the first census of the Russian Federation carried out on October 9 through October 16, 2002. It was carried out by the Russian Federal Service of State Statistics .-Resident population:...

); 2,699 (1989 Census
Soviet Census (1989)
The 1989 Soviet census, conducted between January 12-19 of that year, was the last one conducted in the former USSR. It resulted in a total population of 286,730,819 inhabitants...



Ainu people
The , also called Aynu, Aino , and in historical texts Ezo , are indigenous people or groups in Japan and Russia. Historically they spoke the Ainu language and related varieties and lived in Hokkaidō, the Kuril Islands, and much of Sakhalin...

 have been known to inhabit the present site of Kurilsk since the second millennium BC, with their settlement known as Shana, and under Russian rule as Syana . Russian colonists first appeared on Iturup in the late 18th century, with the Japanese erecting a military post in 1800. Tensions between Russian and Japanese colonists in the area lead to the Treaty of Shimoda
Treaty of Shimoda
The Treaty of Shimoda of 1855, formally Treaty of Commerce and Navigation between Japan and Russia , was signed between the Russian Vice-Admiral Euphimy Vasil'evich Putiatin and Toshiakira Kawaji of Japan in the city of Shimoda, Izu Province, Japan, on February 7, 1855...

, which saw the southern Kuril Islands
Kuril Islands
The Kuril Islands , in Russia's Sakhalin Oblast region, form a volcanic archipelago that stretches approximately northeast from Hokkaidō, Japan, to Kamchatka, Russia, separating the Sea of Okhotsk from the North Pacific Ocean. There are 56 islands and many more minor rocks. It consists of Greater...

 officially placed under Japanese rule in 1855, remaining so until the end of the Second World War.

Under Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

ese administration that ended in 1945, the village
Villages of Japan
A is a local administrative unit in Japan.It is a local public body along with , , and . Geographically, a village's extent is contained within a prefecture....

 of Shana was the central settlement of the island. As of August 15, 1945, the population of the village was 1,001.

In 1947, the town was given its present name and granted town status. All Japanese villagers were exiled, however the Japanese do not recognise the town to have been legally dissolved and the city office of Nemuro, Hokkaido
Nemuro, Hokkaido
-Transportation:Nearby Nakashibetsu Airport serves Nemuro.-Railways:*Hokkaido Railway Company – Nemuro Main Line**Stations in the city: Nemuro, Higashi-Nemuro, Hanasaki, Nishi-Wada, Kombumori, Ochiishi, Bettoga, Hattaushi, Attoko-Sightseeing:*Cape Nosappu...

 takes care of family registry
A is a Japanese family registry. Japanese law requires all Japanese households to report births, acknowledgements of paternity, adoptions, disruptions of adoptions, deaths, marriages and divorces of Japanese citizens to their local authority, which compiles such records encompassing all Japanese...

 of the village.


Remarkably for its relatively southerly latitude, Kurilsk has a subarctic climate
Subarctic climate
The subarctic climate is a climate characterized by long, usually very cold winters, and short, cool to mild summers. It is found on large landmasses, away from the moderating effects of an ocean, generally at latitudes from 50° to 70°N poleward of the humid continental climates...

Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

 Dfc) owing to the powerful influence of the cold Oyashio Current
Oyashio Current
, also known as Oya Siwo, Okhotsk or the Kurile current, is a cold subarctic ocean current that flows south and circulates counterclockwise in the western North Pacific Ocean. It collides with the Kuroshio Current off the eastern shore of Japan to form the North Pacific Current...

 which makes summers exceptionally cool. Unlike most subarctic climates, however, the winters are fairly mild and there is no permafrost
In geology, permafrost, cryotic soil or permafrost soil is soil at or below the freezing point of water for two or more years. Ice is not always present, as may be in the case of nonporous bedrock, but it frequently occurs and it may be in amounts exceeding the potential hydraulic saturation of...

. Precipitation, as with all the Kuril Islands, is very heavy owing to the influence of the Aleutian Low
Aleutian low
The Aleutian Low is a semi-permanent low pressure center located near the Aleutian Islands during the winter. It is one of the main centers of action in the atmospheric circulation of the Northern Hemisphere...

, though Kurilsk is a little less wet than Yuzhno-Kurilsk
Yuzhno-Kurilsk is an urban-type settlement in Sakhalin Oblast, Russia. It is the largest settlement on the Kunashir Island of the Kuril Islands. Population: 5,751 ; 6,344 ....

 because of its westerly aspect which tends to shelter it from cyclonic storms originating over the Pacific. The climate actually resembles the subpolar oceanic climate of the Aleutian Islands more than the climate of interior Siberia, but the mean February temperature of −7.0 C is well beyond the −3 C threshold of subpolar oceanic climates.

Economy and infrastructure

Kurilsk is a center for fishing and fish farming
Fish farming
Fish farming is the principal form of aquaculture, while other methods may fall under mariculture. Fish farming involves raising fish commercially in tanks or enclosures, usually for food. A facility that releases young fish into the wild for recreational fishing or to supplement a species'...

, particularly salmon
Salmon is the common name for several species of fish in the family Salmonidae. Several other fish in the same family are called trout; the difference is often said to be that salmon migrate and trout are resident, but this distinction does not strictly hold true...

. A tsunami warning station is also located in the town.
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