I've got a bit of a random mix for today, starting off with this great lighthouse postcard I received from a swap last year. I think it's my only postcard of Sakhalin, too.
According to the text on the back of this card, this is the Aniva Lighthouse in Sakhalin, by the Sea of Okhotsk. Sakhalin is a large island in the North Pacific, lying between 45°50' and 54°24' N. It is part of Russia, and is Russia's largest island, and is administered as part of Sakhalin Oblast. Sakhalin, which is about one fifth the size of Japan, is just off the east coast of Russia, and just north of Japan.
The indigenous peoples of the island are the Sakhalin Ainu, Oroks, and Nivkhs. Most Ainu relocated to Hokkaidō when the Japanese were displaced from the island in 1949.
Sakhalin was claimed by both Russia and Japan in the course of the 19th and 20th centuries, which led to bitter disputes between the two countries over control of the island.
The Sea of Okhotsk is a marginal sea of the western Pacific Ocean, lying between the Kamchatka Peninsula on the east, the Kuril Islands on the southeast, the island of Hokkaidō to the south, the island of Sakhalin along the west, and a long stretch of eastern Siberian coast (including the Shantar Islands) along the west and north. The northeast corner is Shelikhov Gulf. It is named after Okhotsk, the first Russian settlement in the Far East.