Saga Prefecture is located in the northwest part of the island of Kyushu, Japan. It touches both the Sea of Japan and the Ariake Sea. The western part of the prefecture is a region famous for producing ceramics and porcelain, particularly the towns of Karatsu, Imari, and Arita. The capital is the city of Saga.
The Saga International Balloon Fiesta is held at the beginning of November every year just outside of Saga City along the Kase River. This is a very popular event and attracts competitors from all over the world.
"The Seven Wise Men of Saga" is the name given to these seven men from Saga, each of whom have made a significant contribution to the modernisation of Japan. Their contributions began in the last days of the Tokugawa Shogunate, and continued into the Meiji Restoration. Even today, this era shines impressively in Saga's history.
Lord Nabeshima Naomasa, feudal lord of the Nabeshima clan, helped to bring about the development of Saga through introducing European technology and culture.
Sano Tsunetami founded the Japanese Red Cross.
Shima Yoshitake contributed to the exploration of Hokkaido.
Soejima Taneomi served the roles of Diet member, Foreign Minister, Minister of Domestic Affairs and was well known for his Chinese Poetry and talented writing skills.
Oki Takato was Minister of Civil Affairs, Education and Legal Affairs, held the position of a Diet member and made considerable contributions to the establishment of the modern education system in Japan.
Eto Shimpei, also once a Minister of Legal Affairs, became a Diet member and created the foundation for Japan's judicial system.
Okuma Shigenobu served two terms as Prime Minister of Japan. He also established Waseda University.