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city, Miyagi ken (prefecture), Honshu, Japan, on the estuary of the Kitakami-gawa (Kitakami River). The city was founded in the 4th century and was a prosperous rice-shipping port during the Tokugawa era (1603-1867). The opening of the Tohoku Line (railway) in the late 19th century caused a decline in river traffic, but the port revived as a major deep-sea fishing (skipper and tuna) centre. Oysters and seaweed are cultivated along the coast. Ishinomaki's industry produces processed marine products, whaling harpoons, and pulp. Fruit and vegetables are grown on reclaimed land in the city's western sector. Ishinomaki serves as a distribution centre for both the Pacific coast and inland areas of the Tohoku region (chiho). Efforts have been made to protect the city from tidal waves by building breakwaters and cement walls. Pop. (2005) 167,324.