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Sendai is Tohoku's largest city, and its 1.3 million residents enjoy the big-city feel. Meanwhile, they can relax in knowing that Sendai is as safe and easygoing as a small town. Devastated by World War II, Sendai has since become a thoroughly modern and well-planned city, with wide boulevards and a surprising amount and variety of greenery. It's the economic and educational capital of the region, hosting a broad range of industries and universities such as prestigious Tohoku University. In recent decades the city has become a magnet for international students, teachers, and workers, and this has helped foster Sendai's energetic and affable atmosphere.
The city's origins can largely be traced to the story of the "one-eyed dragon," local warlord Masamune Date (1567-1636). Affectionately nicknamed for both his one working eye (he was blinded in the other during a childhood bout with smallpox) and his valor in battle, Masamune established a dynasty in Sendai that maintained its position as one of the three most powerful daimyo (feudal lord) families during the shogun period. In later life, his talents expanded: he engineered a canal linking two rivers, improving the transport of rice; and in an effort to further trade with Europe, he dispatched an emissary to Rome and the Vatican.
Sendai at a Glance
Elsewhere in Tohoku
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