Once powerful samurai in the service of the Ashina family, after the Ashina died out the Aoyagi family was employed by the northern Satake clan. The grounds of the manor are expansive. Next to the formal gates used to receive important guests is a spyhole called a "warrior's window." The many displays inside the manor include collections of weapons and artworks handed down across generations, now open for the public to view.
The Ishiguro family were retainers in charge of the north Satake clan's finances. The thatched roof of the main house, the black fence with its spyholes, and the front and side gates of this house speak of a highly-ranking samurai home, but at the same time it has an air of simple austerity. Yet this is the household of the highest-ranking family in Kakunodate's Samurai District.
Retainers of the Ashina family, the Iwahashi family transferred their allegiance to the northern Satake family after the Ashina died out. The manor was renovated at the very end of the Edo period, trading its thatched roof for the wooden shingles that we see today. However, it still retains the archetypical layout of a middle-class samurai manor of Kakunodate. This house is best known for its Japanese oak tree, more than 300 years old.
Hereditary vassals to the Ashina family from the time when that clan ruled in Aizu, the Kawarada eventually came under the northern Satake clan. The manor has maintained its traditional Edo-period samurai home construction. In the front parlor, architecture distinctive to this region can be seen.
A family associated with the Imamiya clan, they came north to Akita together with the Satake. This brushwood fence-encircled manor may be small, but the thatched roof retains the atmosphere of a proper samurai home. Now, Kakunodate's traditional itaya-zaiku - crafts of woven thinly-cut maple wood - is carried out here from spring to fall.
After serving under the Imamiya family, the Odano became retainers to the northern Satake clan. As the Odano were originally employed for their skill in combat, there was once a training hall to the right after one passed through the gate. This middle-class samurai manor is known for its traditional gardens.
Located at the northernmost end of the Samurai District, it is clear from a single glance that these were high-class samurai when the district was established. It was renovated in 2000, based on blueprints that had been passed down through the family's descendants. Now it is used as a Citizen Center and as a training hall for the martial arts.