Although the American Akita’s lineage began in the Tohoku region of Japan, it was Helen Keller who first brought a dog classified as an Akita breed to the United States. In 1937 the dog was presented to her as a gift. Unfortunately the first Akita named Kamikaze-go died of distemper months after its arrival. The Japanese government then presented her with an official gift of another Akita named Kenzan-go. Soon after World War II there were many Akitas that could be located in the United States due to servicemen who brought the Akitas home with them. The traditional Japanese Akita over the years has evolved into a separate breed and now has a separate designation from the ones originating from Japan- which are presently known as the American Akita.