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@Matsue, at the heart of the San'in region, is surrounded by natural beauty and nurtures a unique heritage rooted in the origins of Japanese Civilization. Sheltered from the often stormy Japan Sea to the north by the Kitayama range and bordered on the south by the Chugoku Mountains, Matsue shares a long fertile basin with Lake Shinji to the west and Nakaumi Lagoon to the east. Growing up about the shores of Lake Shinji and the mouth of the Ohashi River, the city was named "Matsue", (mah-tsoo-eh), meaning "Pine-Sheltered Inlet, "after a similar region in China's Zhejiang Province.

@Long before the beginning of recorded Japanese history, the people of Japan were living here in "Yakumotatsu Izumo no Kuni," now recognized as one of the oldest civilizations in Japan.
Along southern Matsue's Iu River, in the tumuli in which they were buried with their possessions, the people of "The Eightfold-Towering-Thunderheaded Land of Izumo" have left archaeological records of life in ancient Japan. Japan's earliest written records, the Kojiki and Nihon-shoki, center around the land of Izumo and its deities, showing that the Izumo region is the cradle of Japanese myth and one of the origins of Japanese civilization.

@During the eighth century, Matsue became the capital of the new province of Izumo, and the Provincial Office and State Buddhist Temple were built here. While only ruins of the ancient capitol and temple remain, many shrines dating from antiquity still stand, continuing to embody the past.

@In 1607, with the coming of Daimyo Horio Yoshiharu, the entire Izumo Province was renamed Matsue Fief and work began on Matsue Castle in the young northern half of the city. The city grew rapidly about the castle and today remains as one of the best preserved castle towns in Japan. Strolling Matsue's quiet streets, one notices the shadows that hang from the castle's eaves, the shade of the city's many pines, refreshing contrast everywhere.

@The quiet and sometimes mysterious atmosphere of the city continues to enchant. The people of Matsue are hospitable, quiet, and reserved. Like the city, their hearts are warm and their roots deep.