A few years ago my wife and I went to Kokura for the day. It`s a big industrial city now and actually it has been since the industrial revolution back in the Meiji Period.
Before that, it was a beautiful castle town right at the tip of northern Kyushu overlooking the very important Kanmon Straits. On the other side of the straits sits another important trade town named Shimonoseki.
During the medieval period the region was called Buzen. Notable rulers of Buzen were the Ogasawara clan and the Hosokawa, who were also the rulers in Kumamoto. Legendary swordsman Musashi Miyamoto was a guest of the Hosokawa for many years and lived in both Kokura and Kumamoto.