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Fukuoka (fŏkōˈōkä) [key], city (1990 pop. 1,237,062), capital of Fukuoka prefecture, N Kyushu, Japan, on Hakata Bay. An important seaport, airport hub, and railway terminus, it is one of the largest and most prosperous cities on Kyushu. It is known for iron and steel production, the manufacture of computer components and textiles, and a large fishing industry. Fukuoka is also the seat of several universities, including Kyushu Univ. The well-known Hakata dolls have been made there for centuries. The ancient port area, Hakata, was in medieval times one of the chief ports of Japan. The Mongols under Kublai Khan twice (1274, 1281) were defeated at Hakata. The city of Fukuoka has three noted shrines—the Buddhist temple of Kannonji, the Dazaifu Temmangu shrine, and a 16th-century Shinto temple. In the city and nearby are also many buildings constructed during that late 20th cent. that were designed by noted Western and Japanese architects. Fukuoka prefecture (1990 pop. 4,849,431), 1,907 sq mi (4,939 sq km), is bounded on the north by Shimonoseki Strait and on the east by the Inland Sea. The Chikuho River valley in the north is a rich agricultural district, producing rice, wheat, and barley. Kitakyushu, an amalgamation (1963) of five cities, is the largest industrial complex in Kyushu.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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See more Encyclopedia articles on: Japanese Political Geography

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