Sunday, 5 July 2009

Discover Japan #6: Miyagi Prefecture (THE EAST Campaign in Association with Japan National Tourist Organization London Office)

Miyagi Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan located in the Tōhoku Region on Honshū island.
The capital is Sendai and Miyagi Prefecture was formerly part of the province of Mutsu.
Mutsu Province, on northern Honshū, was one of the last provinces to be formed as land was taken from the indigenous Ainu and became the largest as it expanded northward.
The ancient capital was in modern Miyagi Prefecture.
In the 3rd month of 2nd year of the Wadō era (709), there was an uprising against governmental authority in Mutsu Province and in nearby Echigo Province.
Troops were promptly dispatched to subdue the revolt.
In Wadō 5 (712), the land of Mutsu Province was administratively separated from Dewa Province.
Empress Gemmei’s Daijō-kan continued to organize other cadastral changes in the provincial map of the Nara period, as in the following year when Mimasaka Province was divided from Bizen Province; Hyūga Province was sundered from Osumi Province; and Tamba Province was severed from Tango Province.
During the Sengoku period various clans ruled different parts of the province.
The Uesugi clan had a castle town at Wakamatsu in the south, the Nambu clan at Morioka in the north, and Date Masamune, a close ally of the Tokugawa, established Sendai, which is now the largest town of the Tōhoku region.
In the Meiji period, four new provinces were created from parts of Mutsu: Rikuchū, Rikuzen, Iwaki, and Iwashiro.
The area that is now Aomori Prefecture continued to be part of Mutsu until the Abolition of the han system and the nation-wide conversion to the prefectural structure of modern Japan.
Date Masamune built a castle at Sendai as his seat to rule Mutsu.
In 1871, Sendai Prefecture was formed.
It was renamed Miyagi prefecture the following year.

Miyagi Prefecture is located 300 kilometers northeast of Tokyo, the capital of Japan, and lies in the central part of the Tohoku region.
Sendai, the prefectural capital, is located at longitude 141 degrees east, and latitude 38 degrees north.
Miyagi Prefecture is bordered by the Pacific Ocean on the east, and the waters off the coast are noted for their rich fishing grounds, as well as lovely sightseeing spots such as the islands of Matsushima.
Matsushima is considered one of the three most scenic sites in Japan.
The mountain ranges of Zao, Funagata and Kurikoma show off their splendor and beauty in each of the four seasons.
The Sendai Plain lies in the central region where numerous granaries abound.
The wealth of natural surroundings including mountains, rivers, seas and plains, makes Miyagi Prefecture an ideal place to live.
With a total area of 7,285 square kilometers, Miyagi is home to approximately 2,370,000 people (as of 2003).
A large number of them have distinguished themselves in various fields.

Miyagi Prefecture is an important production center for high-quality rice, vegetables, livestock products and more.
In response to changes in production and logistics both domestically and internationally, it is striving to establish “independent agriculture.”
In pursuance of this, it is promoting a variety of support programs for farmsteads, including the development of areas such as production centres, development of specialty products, utilization of biotechnology and new technologies, advancement of production bases, and an information network for agricultural management.
It is also committed to developing the environment to allow farming villages to become “places for communication” and more attractive to the urban population.
There are great expectations for our forest, such as the production of wood materials and playing a part in the preservation of the global environment.
In order to respond to these expectations, the prefecture has been promoting the production of Miyagi’s original, high quality wood materials through the utilization of our abundant woodland resources, and the active development of our forests.
Miyagi is very fortunate to have the world-class Sanriku fishing ground.
Inshore, offshore and deep-sea fishing are all popular, and aqua-farming of sea products, such as silver salmon, kelp, oysters, seaweed, scallops and sea squirt, is also highly valued.
However, production has been facing severe situations due to international fishery regulations as well as a reduction in and aging of the work force.
The prefecture has been attempting to implement various measures with the aim of developing a more prosperous fishing industry and a stable supply of safe and high-quality sea products.
These measures include the management of aquatic resources, an increase in aqua-farming activities, infrastructure development to protect the marine environment, improvement of quality and hygiene management and fostering of managerial bodies and personnel.

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