Kyushu (九州, Kyūshū, pronounced [kʲɯꜜːɕɯː], literally “Nine Provinces”) is the third-largest island of Japan’s five main islands and the most southerly of the four largest islands (i.e. excluding Okinawa). In the past, it has been known as Kyūkoku (九国, “Nine Countries”), Chinzei (鎮西, “West of the Pacified Area”) and Tsukushi-no-shima (筑紫島, “Island of Tsukushi”). The historical regional name Saikaidō (西海道, lit. West Sea Circuit) referred to Kyushu and its surrounding islands. In the 8th-century Taihō Code reforms, Dazaifu was established as a special administrative term for the region.