Akita (äˈkētä) [key], city (1990 pop. 302,362), capital of Akita prefecture, NW Honshu, Japan, on the Sea of Japan. A producer of petroleum products and chemicals, Akito city also has a large port that exports lumber and rice. It became an important feudal town in the 8th cent., and its castle-fort (733) still stands. Akita prefecture (1990 pop. 1,227,491), 4,503 sq mi (11,663 sq km), contains Japan's largest oil field and copper mine, in addition to deposits of sulfur, lead, and manganese. The prefecture's mountains have extensive stands of quality timber, and its fertile lowlands yield crops of rice, tobacco, and fruit. Akita (the capital), Noshiro (the chief port), Tsushisoki, and Yokote are centers of population.