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city, Fukuoka ken (prefecture), Kyushu, Japan. It lies at the centre of the Tsukushi Plain, on the Chikugo River. It was a castle town during the 17th century and a military centre from the late 19th century until World War II. Kurume is known for its patterned cotton textiles, which have been produced as a cottage industry since the 1700s. The city's economy is now based on the rubber industry, which produces tires, rubber shoes, and tubing. Kurume is also a market for agricultural produce and a railway hub. The nearby Suiten Shrine dedicated to the Shinto god of the sea was established in the late 12th century. Pop. (2005) 306,434.