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History/Culture

  Take a look at the history and culture of Ishikawa Prefecture, and you will discover deep roots to the Maeda Clan, the ruling family of the Kaga Domain during the Edo Period (1603-1868). At the time, the Maeda Clan was often referred to as Kaga Hyakumangoku (Hyakumangoku literally means “one million koku of rice”, where koku was the amount of rice that would feed one person for one year; this symbolized the wealth of Kaga at a time when wealth was calculated by the amount of rice one’s domain was able to produce). Because the Maeda Clan was not related to the ruling Tokugawa Clan and their domain (Kaga) was the richest domain after the capital (Edo), they were always under careful watch by the Shogunate. In order to show that their clan had no military ambitions and no desire for taking over the country, the lords of the Maeda Clan refrained from displays of military strength, thereby appeasing the government in Edo. In particular, the third clan lord, Toshitsune Maeda, very publicly implemented policies to encourage the development of culture in the domain.

 The Maeda Clan worked hard to develop Kanazawa and the castle town area, and they committed considerable resources into arts and crafts by building workshops for famous and highly-skilled artisans they had called from Kyoto and Edo. This promotion of culture was actually also a way for the Kaga Domain to show the ruling Shogunate in Edo that they were not interested in rebelling against the government. That formed the foundation for a vibrant tea ceremony and Noh drama culture which flourishes even today. In turn, a variety of arts and crafts (such as Kanazawa gold leaf art, Kanazawa lacquerware, Kaga Yuzen silk dyeing, and Kutaniyaki ceramics) were developed to create the wares and tools necessary for tea ceremony and Noh drama. Ten of those traditional arts and crafts have been designated National Traditional Arts and Crafts, which is the most of any prefecture after Kyoto.

NOTO AREA

  Noto is famous for a vibrant food culture based on seafood and mountain vegetables as well as for a variety of traditional arts and crafts that flourish even today, such as Wajima lacquerware and Nanao Buddhist altars.

KANAZAWA AREA

  The samurai culture from the feudal era remains in Kanazawa even today through traditional performing arts like the elegant and refined Noh music and dancing and also through high-quality and stylish traditional arts and crafts.

KAGA/HAKUSAN AREA

  The Kaga region is famous for having produced numerous living national treasures who are masters of Yamanaka lacquerware and Kutaniyaki ceramics.

RECOMMENDED ISHIKAWA ATTRACTIONS

Kenroku-en Gardern

Kenrokuen Garden is one of the three most beautiful gardens in Japan, along with Kairakuen Garden in Mito City and Korakuen Garden in Okayama City.

Kita Family House

Kita Family was a leading Tomura-yaku* Family that supported the wealth of Kaga region. Kita Family's grand residential house was constructed on the instructions by the ruler of Kaga Province, to build a house in accordance with the high status of Kita Family.

Kami Tokikuni House

This magnificent residence was built by the descendents of Tokikuni Family who are said to be descended from the Heike General Taira-no-Tokitada who came to Noto Peninsula after Heike clan was defeated in the battle of Dannnoura.

Nagamachi Samurai Houses

A few blocks away from downtown Korinbo, there still remain a few samurai houses surrounded by traditional mud walls.

Ataka Barrier Ruins

The kabuki play "Kanjincho" has made Ataka-no-seki very famous. After 800 years, the Barrier is still standing in the forest, and visitors can definitely feel the spirit and tension from the statues of Benkei, Yoshitsune and the gateman Togashi.

Hashidate Fishing Port Area

The picturesque rural scenery blends softly with the red tiles on the roofs, and visitors can enjoy a stroll along the streets lined with these exquisite houses that possess all the ideal beauty factors of the seafarers.