This garden was completed over a span of two centuries during the samurai era. It belonged to the Maeda clan, The most powerful feudal family under the Takugawa Shogunate. The Maedoas controlled a large domain dovering today's Ishikawa and Toyama prefectures.
Kenrokuen was the outer garden of Kanazawa castle and the Maedas' private garden; as such, samurai and commoners were unable to enter the garden without the permission of the feudal lords. It was not unitl 1871 that it was opened to the public. (At that time Japan's feudal era came to an end.)