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capital, Tochigi ken (prefecture), Honshu, Japan. The city is situated on the alluvial plain between the Ta River and the Kinu River. A castle town in the 11th century, it later served as a post town on the Nikko Highway during the Tokugawa era (1603-1867). The city became the prefectural administrative centre in 1884. During World War II industries were relocated to Utsunomiya from Tokyo, producing railway cars, aircraft, and machinery. Utsunomiya's other manufactures include processed foods, paper, and tobacco. Rice and vegetables are grown in the surrounding area. A university was founded there in 1949.