city, Okayama ken (prefecture), western Honshu, Japan. It is situated on the eastern bank of the lower Takahashi River. During the Tokugawa period (1603-1867), it was an important trading centre for rice, cotton, and oil; many of its storage houses, built in traditional style, remain. The city has been known for its textile manufacturing since the late 19th century. During World War II, a large aircraft-production plant was established there, which has since converted to automobile production. After 1964 the industrial centre moved south, where petrochemical and heavy chemical plants face the Inland Sea. Kurashiki is also a cultural centre that houses the Ohara Art Museum. Pop. (2005) 469,377.
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