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city, Saitama ken (prefecture), Honshu, Japan. It lies on the alluvial plain of the Ara River, just north of Tokyo. During the Tokugawa period (1603-1867) it was a post town and marketplace, with few industries. The manufacture of metal castings grew rapidly during the early 20th century, and since World War II other industries, such as the manufacture of textiles and precision instruments and brewing, have been introduced. Pop. (2005) 480,079.