Quite a bit of controversy surrounds the history of the Japanese Akita and the American Akita. Depending which kennel club you ascribe to, they may be considered variations on one breed or members of two very different breeds. Breeders who hope to show their dogs internationally may discover unexpected problems because of this debate. Whichever side you agree with, there's little doubt the two lines have produced some distinct differences that not all fanciers find acceptable.The splitting of the Akita breed began shortly after World War II with two different breeding lines of Akita in Japan, the Dewa line and the Ichinoseki line. The majority of Akitas sent to America were of the Dewa line, larger dogs with wrinkled foreheads and bigger ears. The Ichinoseki line, which the Japanese preferred, produced smaller dogs with well-curled tails and unwrinkled skin. The differences were smaller at first, and some of the Ichinoseki line dogs did make it to America, but in 1973 the American Kennel Club both recognized the Akita breed and closed registration off to any dogs that were not already in the United States. This move effectively separated the two populations, and with different ideas of where the breed should go, the Americans and the Japanese widened the gap between their Akita populations.