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During the time of Avatar Kyoshi, a warlord known as Chin the Great conquered the entire Earth Kingdom with his armies, Ba Sing Se and Kyoshi's home peninsula being the sole exceptions. When the warlord marched his armies down to the neck of the peninsula in 270 BG, Avatar Kyoshi avoided a battle and managed to keep her people safe from invasion by using a combination of different bending techniques to separate their peninsula from the mainland and form Kyoshi Island.
As the island held no significant military advantage and was home to only a few earthbenders, the region was not attacked at all during the early and intermediate stages of the Hundred Year War. However, Oyaji's village suffered considerable damage in late 99 AG, when Prince Zuko and his men invaded the island in search of Avatar Aang. The inhabitants of the island had no intention of inviting unwanted attention, and as a result were often hostile toward outsiders, fearing Fire Nation spies. However, inspired by Avatar Aang's arrival on the island, the citizens gained new hope and adopted a more welcoming attitude. Additionally, the Kyoshi Warriors left to join the war effort in hopes of making a difference.
In 100 AG, Kyoshi Island was again visited by Sokka and Katara, who arrived riding on Appa and were welcomed by a large number of the island's inhabitants. The two siblings intended on acquiring the necessary information about Kyoshi that would prove both her and Aang innocent, as the latter was being held prisoner in Chin Village for the murder of Chin the Conqueror. Due to his imprisonment, Aang was not able to be present during the visit, much to inhabitants' disappointment, namely Koko and foaming mouth guy. Sokka and Katara proceeded to Kyoshi's shrine, led by Oyaji whom they had informed of the accusation against the Avatar. After having analyzed Kyoshi's relics and having been told of the history of Kyoshi Day, the two deduced that Kyoshi was not responsible for Chin's murder and left the island, returning to Chin Village thereafter.
A year later, Kyoshi Island had taken on a more active stance in politics. Upon Mai's request, the Kyoshi Warriors took on the role of becoming body guards for Fire Lord Zuko after several attempts to assassinate him.
Kyoshi Island is led by a governor, but hosts minimal connection to the Earth Kingdom imperial government. The village visited by Team Avatar was led by Oyaji, who served as a local judge and a sort of overseer to the Kyoshi Warriors, though the group was directly instructed by Suki. Many other villages are scattered across the island, all of which have a local leader and a band of female warriors to provide protection.
Due to their isolation, the inhabitants of Kyoshi Island have a less refined culture than those of other Earth Kingdom settlements, such as Ba Sing Se, which has a very strict culture. Their homes are made of wood and have steeply pitched thatched roofs to prevent the accumulation of snow. The inhabitants of Kyoshi Island wear primarily blue clothing, unlike most Earth Kingdom citizens, who wear green.
The Kyoshi Warriors are several all-female groups of fighters that are fiercely protective of the island and its people, with the most notable group led by Suki. While each village has its own forms and traditions, their fighting style with metal fans and clothing generally mimic those of Avatar Kyoshi. Their fighting philosophy emulates that of waterbenders, as it is based on the principle of using their opponents' force against them. The female warriors do not take kindly to training outsiders, especially men, in these unique methods.
Due to their home's isolation, the islanders grow and catch most of their own food. Rice forms the staple of the Kyoshi Island diet, as well as fish; various kinds of sushi are available. In the nearby sea, there are elephant koi which serve as the island's main source of commerce, and a giant eel known as the unagi. In the market of Suki's village, cucumbers, eggplant, wild nuts, taro root, apples, scallions, and daikon radishes were available.
They also had an assortment of desserts, varying from cakes to iced pastries, indicating the existence of wheat fields and sugar canes.
Kyoshi Day is the most important holiday on the island. This celebration commemorates the day Avatar Kyoshi created the island in defense against Chin the Conqueror. A famous mural of Kyoshi at sunset was painted on the first Kyoshi Day and now resides in a shrine to the Avatar on the island. Kyoshi Day coincides with Avatar Day.
- Kyoshi Island is largely reminiscent of Japan, as it is part of an archipelago separated from the larger main continent. The warriors also wear armor similar to ancient Japanese armor, along with face paint similar to the face paint used in Japanese Kabuki. Furthermore, their food is based on traditional Japanese cuisine, they have Japanese-sounding names such as Suki and Oyaji, and use Japanese terms like kimono.
- Kyoshi Island is the first known landmass created through man-made means, as Kyoshi forcibly separated it from the mainland using her bending abilities.
- Even prior to Kyoshi Island's separation from the Earth Kingdom mainland, its residents faced a recurring problem with citizens who came to the seaside port and caused trouble. During her time, Avatar Kyoshi herself would visit the port and put the carousing men in their place, though the succeeding Kyoshi Warriors continued to have problems with disorderly visitors.