City (pop., 2006 est.: 1,528,687), west-central Honshu, Japan. It is situated on Osaka Bay and occupies a narrow shelf of land between mountains and the sea. With neighbouring cities Osaka and Kyoto, it is the centre of a major industrial zone. Until the Meiji Restoration it was only a fishing village, but it grew rapidly in the late 19th century. It was severely bombed during World War II and was entirely rebuilt after 1945. It suffered a major earthquake in 1995. Kobe is an important Japanese port and a centre of shipbuilding and steel production; it is the seat of Kobe University.