History of Kanazawa

A Daimyo Procession
Ishikawa Prefectural Museum

 The name Kanazawa is derived from the following story: A peasant 
named Imohori Togoro made his living digging potatoes. He washed  
gold dust from the potatoes into a well, now called Kinjo Reitaku,
so the area was named Kanazawa, meaning 'marsh of gold.'          

 About 500 years ago the Ikko sect of Buddhism set up a religious    
goverment with its center at the Kanazawa Gobo temple, which later
became the site of Kanazawa Castle.                              

 The temple was destroyed by an army led by Oda Nobunaga in 1580.
Maeda Toshiie, one of his retainers, entered into Kanazawa in    
1583, built a castle in its stead and ruled the district as the  
lord possessing the largest fief in Japan. He is known for
producing a million koku of rice annually (one koku equals five 
bushels). The Maeda lords especially fostered arts 
and crafts, and Kanazawa became a cultural center like Tokyo 
(then known as Edo) and Kyoto.                      

 After the Meiji Restoration in 1868 Kanazawa became the capital 
of Ishikawa Prefecture, and has flourished as the hub of         
political, economic, educational, and cultural activities in the 
Hokuriku District.