city, Yamaguchi ken (prefecture), Honshu, Japan, facing the Inland Sea. Numerous prehistoric remains and tombs of the Tumulus period indicate that it was an early cultural centre. During the Tokugawa period (1603-1867), Hofu was a post town and an important shipping port for salt. It served as the capital of Suo province (now part of Yamaguchi prefecture) until 1868. Despite its location on the railway between Kobe and Moji, industrial development was slow. Hofu now has textile, chemical, and food-processing plants. The salt works were abandoned in 1960. The Shinto Temman Shrine at Hofu is dedicated to the 9th-century scholar and statesman Sugawara Michizane, who was falsely accused of conspiring against the emperor in 901. Pop. (2005) 116,818.
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