Akita Cedar

Akita cedar enjoyed a good reputation for its quality and was used, for example, for the repair work in Fushimi Castle in Kyoto for Hideyoshi Toyotomi.

The domanial government was keen to further the economic potential of Akita cedar.

Masamitsu Shibue, the highest-ranked bureaucrat in the early years of the rule of the Satake family, inspected all woods in the domain and took measures for their protection and management, making the following remarks:

“The mountain [with cedar trees] is a treasure of the domain. But the mountain becomes useless by exhaustion. Management is required before exhaustion. The decline of the mountain means the decline of the domain.”

The domanial government preserved the beautiful cedar through management and protection as well as through three major reforms of the forestry policy throughout the Edo era.

Hakage-Rokugun-Ryakuzu  stored in Akita Prefectural Library

The drawing on the left is a copy of a drawing in Hakage-Rokugun-Ryakuzu. Kagekoto Kato copied it to use as a reference for his forestry inspection work in the nineteenth century. Kagekoto’s father, Keirin Kato (1768–1834), implemented reforms of the forestry policy under the lordship of Yoshimasa Satake.

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