The Kaneko Family’s Former Residence

Akita City Designated Tangible Cultural Property
The Kaneko family’s former residence was donated to Akita City in 1996 by Mr. Kaneko Eiichi. In 1997, it was registered as the Akita City Designated Tangible Cultural Property for its special value in having preserved the late-Edo era architectural style of traditional townhouses. Of the original buildings that were built around the end of the Edo era (mid and end-19th century), the main building was lost in the famous Fire of Tawaraya in 1886 and was rebuilt around 1887. The plaster-walled storehouse that continues to stand was built before the end of the Edo era and survived the fire. Until the Second World War, it was common for merchant houses in Akita to store rain water in main roof tanks, to prepare for fire. German architect Bruno Taut who visited Akita in 1935 was interested in the roof water tanks of the Kaneko residence and mentioned it in his book. The former residence of the Kaneko family passes on Akita’s traditional culture and the history of a merchant house to the present.