ken (prefecture), central Honshu, Japan, on the Sea of Japan coast. Its area of 1,619 square miles (4,192 square km) includes the low Fukui Plain, which is backed by high mountains. To the southwest, the prefecture extends along the coast of Wakasa Bay, which is broken by cliffs, deep embayments, and peninsulas. Paddy-rice agriculture on the plain and forestry in the mountains are the leading occupations in the prefecture. The prefectural capital, Fukui, and smaller towns on the plain form a major silk and synthetic textile centre. Electrical machinery is also built there. Near Fukui is the Eihei temple complex, a headquarters of the Soto sect of Zen Buddhism, founded in the 13th century. Pop. (1990) 823,595.
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