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city, Osaka fu (urban prefecture), Honshu, Japan. It lies along the Yamato River. The city was an early road transport centre and is rich in historic relics, including the ancient tomb mound of Otsuka. In the gradual urbanization of the area after the late 19th century, Matsubara became a residential suburb south of Osaka. Its small-scale industries produce cultured and artificial pearls and ivory articles. Pop. (2005) 127,276.