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Musha Gyoretsu Warrior Parade celebrates founding of Shimane Prefecture’s capital city

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By Laura Payne

Matsue, the capital of Shimane Prefecture, is famous for samurai history, traditional tea culture and the designated national treasure Matsue Castle. The city as it is today would not exist without Horio Yoshiharu — a feudal lord who was essential in moving the regional seat of power to Matsue.

The Musha Gyoretsu Warrior Parade is held on the first Saturday of April to commemorate Matsue’s founding. Dressed as Horio Yoshiharu and other historical figures, dozens of people parade through Matsue wearing period costumes. With a strong connection to local history and a date that coincides with cherry blossom viewing season, this is one of Matsue’s must-see spring festivals.

Inspired by History

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History remembers the Horio clan and Horio Yoshiharu as the founders of Matsue. Image: Discover Shimane

The Horio clan was granted governance of what is now eastern Shimane and the Oki Islands in 1600. To better foster the development of a capital city, they decided to construct a castle near Lake Shinji—making this area the regional seat of power.

Horio Yoshiharu oversaw the construction of Matsue Castle but passed away before it was completed. Horio Yoshiharu’s son took control of the domain after this but later died in 1633 without an heir. This caused regional power to transfer to another clan. Despite their short governance, history remembers the Horio clan and Horio Yoshiharu as the founders of Matsue.

Click here to read more.

© GaijinPot

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