Kagoshima prefecture (鹿児島県 Kagoshima-ken) is an area of Japan located on the island of Kyushu and some of the southwesterly Ryukyu Islands (南西諸島 Nansai Shotoo 'Southwest Islands'). Its population was 1,743,000 in 2006.
Kagoshima prefecture shares its name with its own capital city, Kagoshima (鹿児島市 Kagoshima-shi).
The islands within Kagoshima prefecture that are included in the Ryukyu Islands are home to the Ryukyuan languages (琉球語 Ryuukyugo) and people (ウチナンチュ Uchinanchu, written in the Japanese script), who are a separate ethnic group within Japan. The eleven languages of this group are not mutually comprehensible with modern Japanese.