Founded in 1600 by the daimyo Date Masamune after the establishment of the Edo Shogunate after the Battle of Sekigahara, Japan’s city of trees is the largest city in the Tohoku region. It has a population of one million. The city’s Tohoku University became the first among Japanese higher learning institutions to allow female students. Much of the city’s historic centre was bombed away during World War II, leaving little of its heritage to appreciate today. It’s in an earthquake prone area, and has suffered several devastating ones recently starting from 1978. The most recent was the 2011 earthquake, the tsunami of which caused great coastal devastation. Hilly and volcanically active, the city has many hot springs. Most of the economy is based on the retail and service sectors, buoyed by a strong transport infrastructure.
Culturally the city is quite rich. It celebrates the Tohoku regions folk heritage with dance, music and literature appreciation. Sendai’s festival scene is unique compared to the rest of Japan, with events such as the famed Jozenji Streetjazz Festival, the New Year Dontosai Festival, and the Pageant of Starlights just before that. Handicraft such as Hira, a handwoven silk, Tsutsumiyaki(pottery), and Kokeshi dolls are actively promoted.
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