The History of the Building and its Exterior

AKARENGA-KAN was originally built as the headquarters of Akita Bank. 50 thousand yen and three years were spent for the construction works. It was finished in July 1912. The soundproof building was made to resist earthquakes and fire, and practical convenience stood as its main construction principle.
Decent and clear composition was chosen for the exterior and interior. Showy decorations avoided as much as possible. This building was made entirely of red bricks at the end of Meiji period when all the construction was about to enter the ferro-concrete age. This puts a significant landmark in the history of Japanese architecture.
Until March 1969 the building was used as the Akita Bank branch. To celebrate the 100 th anniversary of the Akita Bank foundation and 90 years since the Akita gained municipality status, the building was donated to Akita city in May 1981. Akita Municipality restored the building to preserve for the next generations this precious example of western architecture from the end of Meiji period. Restoration was finished in March 1982.
Round turrets on both sides of the front of the AKARENGA-KAN are in the English Renaissance style, usually seen in Scotland. Scandinavian Renaissance hanging roof coupled with a straight thatched roof increases the seriousness of the building.
The second floor of the exterior is covered with decorative red bricks, the first floor – with white porcelain tiles on top of the brick wall. The contrast between red and white colors makes AKARENGA-KAN attractive from the outside.
The first floor window frames and entrance gate have an arched shape, whereas the windows on the second floor are crossbar shape; wall making with carvings attain to the whole building a feeling of solemn stability.
The steps of the entrance gate, edge and base cover stones are from Mt. Kanpu in Oga peninsula. These somehow add a strong homeland feeling in the western architecture of the AKARENGA-KAN.
The building itself is 10.3 meters high, the ridge is 15.15 meters high; the construction area is 475.81 square meters.
This building was designated a Municipal Cultural Asset in March 1985,
a Prefecture Cultural Asset in March 1988, and an Important National Cultural Asset December 1994.

Akarenga Kan