Kanazawa is a culturally rich city that has been shielded from outside influence for most of its existence due to its location between mountains and the sea. In 1583, the area was known as Kaga, became subjects of the Maeda lords. Their stable rule lead Kaga through three centuries of peace and it became the richest area in the country. Due to this wealth, the city was able to focus on cultural pursuits and new styles of art were developed unhindered. When the rest of Japan caught up and modernized, Kanazawa continued to focus on culture vs. industry - a choice that would spare them bombing during WWII. Kanazawa is also known for its traditional Kagaryori cuisine and washagi, Japanese sweets, as well as Noh theater.
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