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Kanazawa’s importance grew in the 15th century, when the powerful and militant Ikko sect established its new headquarters there after being chased out of Kyoto by the monks of Mt.Hiei.
During the Edo Period, Kanazawa was the seat of the Maeda clan, the second most powerful clan after the Tokugawa in terms of rice production and fief size. Accordingly, Kanazawa grew to become a town of great cultural achievements, rivaling Kyoto and Edo (Tokyo).
In World War Two, Kanazawa was Japan’s second largest city (after Kyoto) to escape destruction by air raids. Consequently, parts of the old castle town, such as samurai, temple and pleasure districts, have survived in pretty good condition.
Kanazawa is capital of Ishikawa Prefecture, a prefecture along the Sea of Japan.