Capital of Ōsaka Prefecture, central Honshū. The third largest city in Japan after Tokyo and Yokohama, it is the financial center of western Japan. In the Edo period (1600-1868) Ōsaka served as the entrepôt for goods, especially tax rice, for the entire nation, and was called Japan's "kitchen." Today, Ōsaka's principal industries are textiles, chemicals, machinery, and metal. (adapted from Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia. Tokyo: Kodansha, 1993)
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