Miyagi has a long and rich cultural history. It enters the written historical record in the chronicles of Japanese explorers and vassals from imperial western Japan described as a wild land occupied by the Emishi people. By the 1100s, northern Miyagi had become part of the autonomous realm of the Oshu Fujiwara clan. It rivaled Kyoto in splendor and influence, supported by the vast deposits of gold lying just beneath the surface of their lands.
Much of what is considered “traditional Japanese culture” came to Miyagi later, during the age of samurai. In this respect, the legacy of one man looms large: Masamune Date. Known as the One-Eyed Dragon, he outwitted and outfought other warlords to gain control of a vast domain. Masamune was a man of acumen and sheer grit, yet was also deeply interested in artistic pursuits. The aesthetic he promulgated blended the opulence of the capitals in western Japan with the simplicity of local native traditions. Come witness this rich heritage for yourself at historical sites and cultural attractions around Miyagi.