Chiba (chēˈbä) [key], city (1990 pop. 829,455), capital of Chiba prefecture, central Honshu, Japan, on Tokyo Bay. It is a manufacturing center noted for the production of steel, textiles, paper products, and plastics. It was the residence of the Chiba daimyo from the 12th to the 16th cent. The city retains an 8th-century Buddhist temple. Chiba prefecture (1990 pop. 5,555,467), 1,954 sq mi (5,061 sq km), is a resort area and fertile agricultural region, producing rice and vegetables. It also has offshore fisheries, and industries that produce chemicals, iron, steel, and petroleum products. Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples are popular attractions in S Chiba. Chiba, the port of Choshi, and Funabashi are the major cities.