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Iwakuni

city, Yamaguchi ken (prefecture), Honshu, Japan. It is situated in the delta of the Nishiki River, facing Hiroshima Bay. A castle town founded in 1603 by the Kikkawa daimyo family, Iwakuni has grown into a major industrial city and is the centre of a petrochemical-producing region that extends northward to Otake, in Hiroshima prefecture. Iwakuni is noted for its Kintai Bridge over the Nishiki River, which has five gracefully arched spans. The bridge was originally built in 1673 to afford residents an escape from floods of the river. It was destroyed in a flood in 1950 but was rebuilt as before. Its shape leads local inhabitants to call it Soroban ("Abacus") Bridge. The former army and naval base contains a base for U.S. forces and Iwakuni International Airport. Pop. (1991 est.) 109,258.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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