Akita han

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Akita han, also known as Kubota han, was a taishin kunimochi[1] domain based at Kubota castle and ruled by the Satake clan. It was a particularly prominent mining domain, producing much gold, silver, and copper which then circulated elsewhere in the realm.[2]

Akita was in fact the chief producer of copper in the archipelago in the early Edo period; copper production declined, however, by around 1700, and by the 1760s, the silver mines of Akita and elsewhere in Tôhoku were considered essentially exhausted.[3]

At the very beginning of the Edo period, the domain was held initially by the Akita clan, until they were transferred in 1602 to a domain in Hitachi province, and replaced by the Satake.

Akita was among a number of domains which supplied troops to aid Matsumae han in suppressing Shakushain's Revolt in 1669-1672.[4]

The domain is also known as the home of Akita ranga, a short-lived but significant school of Western-style painting. Comprised chiefly of daimyô Satake Shôzan and his retainer Odano Naotake, the school flourished chiefly in the 1770s.

Selected Lords of Akita han


  1. The Satake did not hold (mochi) an entire province (kuni), but were recognized as being of equivalent power/status.
  2. Kobata Atsushi. "Coinage from the Kamakura Period through the Edo Period." Acta Asiatica 21 (1971). pp98-108.
  3. Robert Hellyer, Defining Engagement, Harvard University Press (2009), 78.
  4. Morris-Suzuki, Tessa. "Creating the Frontier: Border, Identity, and History in Japan's Far North." East Asian History 7 (June 1994). p8.