one of the four main islands of Japan, north of Honshu: 32,221 sq mi (83,452 sq km); chief city, Sapporo
An island of Japan north of Honshu. The second largest of the Japanese islands, Hokkaido was inhabited by the Ainu people before being settled by Japan in the medieval period (c. 1600).
OriginSee also: Hokkaidō
From 北海道 (Hokkaidō ほっかいどう, “North Sea Circuit”), from Middle Chinese 北海 (pok-hój "Northern sea") + 道 (dáu "Circuit", a province-like administrative unit from Ming dynasty China).
- Alternative spelling of Hokkaido.