IZU-NO-SHICHI-TO, the seven (shichi) islands (to) of Izu, included in the empire of Japan. They stretch in a southerly direction from a point near the mouth of Tokyo Bay, and lie between 33° and 34° 48' N. and between 139° and 140 E. Their names, beginning from the north, are Izu-no-Oshima, To-shima, Nii-shima, Kozu-shima, Miyake-shima and Hachijoshima. There are some islets in their immediate vicinity. Izu-no-Oshima, an island 10 m. long and 5z m. wide, is 15 m. from the nearest point of the Izu promontory. It is known to western cartographers as Vries Island, a name derived from that of Captain Martin Gerritsz de Vries, a Dutch navigator, who is supposed to have discovered the island in 1643. But the group was known to the Japanese from a remote period, and used as convict settlements certainly from the 12th century and probably from a still earlier era. Hachijo, the most southerly, is often erroneously written "Fatsisio" on English charts. Izu-noOshima is remarkable for its smoking volcano, Mihara-yama (2461 ft.), a conspicuous object to all ships bound for Yokohama. Three others of the islands - Nii-shima, Kozu-shima and Miyake-shima - have active volcanoes. Those on Nii-shima and Kozu-shima are of inconsiderable size, but that on Miyakeshima, namely, Oyama, rises to a height of 2707 ft. The most southerly island, Hachijo-shima, has a still higher peak, Dsubotake (2838 ft.), but it does not emit any smoke.
A letter of the alphabet which, as far as form is concerned, is only a modification of the Latin I and dates back with a separate value only to the 1 5th century. It was first used as a special form of initial I, the ordinary form being kept for use in other positions. As, however, in many cases initial i had the consonantal value of the English y in iugum (yoke), &c., the symbol came to be used for the value of y, a value which it still retains in German: fat jung, &c. Initially it is pronounced in English as an affricate dzh. The great majority of English words beginning with j are (r) of foreign (mostly French) origin, as "jaundice," "judge"; (2) imitative of sound, like "jar" (the verb); or (3) influenced by analogy, like "jaw" (influenced by chaw, according to Skeat). In early French g when palatalized by e or i sounds became confused with consonantal i (y), and both passed into the sound of j which is still preserved in English. A similar sound-change takes place in other languages, e.g. Lithuanian, where the resulting sound is spelt dš. Modern French and also Provençal and Portuguese have changed j =dzh into š (zh). The sound initially is sometimes represented in English by g: gem, gaol as well as jail. At the end of modern English words the same sound is represented by -dge as in judge, French juge. In this position, however, the sound occurs also in genuine English words like bridge, sedge, singe, but this is true only for the southern dialects on which the literary language is founded. In the northern dialects the pronunciation as brig, seg, sing still survives. (P. Gi.)
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