The modern city of Kurashiki was founded on April 1, 1928. Previously, it was the site of clashes between the Taira and Minamoto clans during the Heian period. It gradually developed as a river port. During the Edo period, it became an area directly controlled by the shogunate. Distinctive white-walled, black-tiled warehouses were built to store goods. During the Meiji Restoration (Japan's Industrial Revolution period), factories were built, including the Ohara Spinning Mill, which still stands as the nostalgic tourist attraction Ivy Square.
On August 1, 2005, the town of Mabi (from Kibi District), and the town of Funao (from Asakuchi District) were merged with Kurashiki.