When I was a child, I imagined that Sendai was the headquarters of a vast satanic conglomerate called Muramasa Industries, which spanned the globe and several neighbouring dimensions in a bid for mastery of the universe. In 1987, I wrote my Geography O-level paper on the little-known Muramasa Steelworks in Sendai, which I had entirely made up (it did not help that I accidentally drank a bottle of sake before going into the exam — I got a B, thanks for asking). When I left Japan in 1992, I told the immigration clerk that I was sure to come back, “because I haven’t been to Sendai yet”. I have always imagined that Sendai would be a really cool place. And now, more than twenty years after I began imagining what Sendai was like, I am finally here.
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