The economic center of Tohoku region!
Miyagi Prefecture is located in the center of Tohoku region and is the economic center of Tohoku as well as having a flourishing fishery. The origin of the name Miyagi is thought to come from Miyake (屯倉), which was a term for a directly controlled territory of the imperial court (there are various theories).
Date Masamune (伊達政宗) is considered to be a hero of Miyagi. A warlord of Miyagi region back in the 17th century, he was called Dokuganryu (One-eyed dragon) due to one of his eyes missing. He was a brilliant tactician and the founder of Sendai City, some would even say that if he had been born 10 years earlier he may have conquered Japan instead of Tokugawa Ieyasu (徳川家康), the founder of Edo shogunate. Due to his iconic figure and his contribution to Miyagi he is still very popular among people.
Masamune also built a Shinto shrine known as Osaki Hachimangu (大崎八幡宮) in 1607 and is the oldest remaining construction that preserves the culture from Azuchi–Momoyama period. The shrine has been designated as Japan’s National Treasure in 1952. The Matsutaki Festival (松焚祭), also known as Dondo-Yaki (どんど焼き), held within the shrine’s premise is one of the major festivals in Sendai City.
Rice is one of the staples of Miyagi and is famous for their rice production. Not only is the climate ideal for rice production, but they have developed rice ideal for the land, resulting in delicious and productive rice. Some of the famous rice brands are, Sasanishiki (ササニシキ) and Hitomebore (ひとめぼれ). Sasanishiki was developed in 1963 and is said to be ideal as sushi rice because it has a less stick texture compared to other rice brands. Hitomebore was developed in 1981 and is the most produced rice brand in Miyagi. The most appeal would probably be how it can withstand cold weather and is developed in many areas outside of Miyagi.
Miyagi also has one of the foremost Pacific saury catches and has the largest marlin catches in Japan. The Pacific sauries fished in Kesennuma City is especially famous because they are rich in fat by the time they reach this area. It also has a very active seaweed farming along the coast as there are plenty of planktons in the ocean which is required to grow the seaweeds.
Miyagi is famous for Matsushima Bay consists of 260 islands all covered with pine trees and is considered to be one of the Three Views of Japan due to its unique and beautiful scenery. Matsushima Bay became especially famous after Matsuo Basho (松尾芭蕉), the most famous poet of Edo period, visited and praised Matsushima in his journal. Definitely a sight worth seeing!
Prefecture capital: Sendai City
Population: Approx. 2.33 million
Major crops: Rice/Kome (米), Fava beans/Sora mame (そら豆)
Traditional crafts: Kokeshi dolls (こけし), Naruko lacquerware/Naruko shikki (鳴子漆器)
Did You Know?😲
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)’s research facility, Kakuda Space Center, is located in Kakuda City.