Osaka, Japan

City and port in Japan, on southern Honshu Island on Osaka Bay, at the mouth of the Yodo River, near Kyoto. One of the largest cities in Japan, both in area and in population. It ranks among the busiest ports in the nation and accommodates major oceangoing vessels.

Osaka is a major industrial city and a financial and commercial center.

Industries include the manufacture of steel, machinery, textiles, ships, automobiles, electrical equipment, and cement.

The city is intersected by many canals spanned by bridges and has several parks. The largest, Tennoji Park, contains botanical gardens. The city is the home of Japanese drama, particularly bunraku (puppet theater). Osaka University (1931), Kansai University (1886), and Osaka City University (1949) are here. Osaka was the site of an international exposition in 1970.

Osaka is the capital of Osaka Prefecture : - Population (1993 estimate) 2,495,275.

The city dates from about AD 300, when it was known as Naniwa. In 1583 the Japanese general and statesman Toyotomi Hideyoshi made Osaka his feudal capital, and Osaka Castle was built and completed. During Toyotomi's administration Osaka became a flourishing center of commerce. Osaka was incorporated as a city in 1889. Two years later some 10,000 lives were lost in an earthquake. The city was also damaged by fires in 1909 and 1912.

In January 1995, a strong earthquake struck below Awaji Island, across the bay from Osaka. The quake was felt throughout the area, although the greatest loss of life and structural damage occurred in Kobe. The Bay Coast Highway in Osaka collapsed, as did the main road connection between Osaka and Kobe, the Hanshin Expressway.

Major cities near Osaka :


144 km

402 km

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