Page 8 - 2018 Issue 2
P. 8

Akita with two-week-old puppies in the Odate area (undated).

         (Continued from page 7)                          were from the wartime period. They include Bushi-
                                                          Go, Tamazakura-Go, Habubotan-Go, Furuhime-Go,
         breed, would probably have brought in its wake the   Tome-Go, and Mitzukaze-Go, all of which were
         final extinction of the Akita dog.               considered as Tokuyu (superior) dogs. There were
             That the Akita did survive the second World War  about 60 Akita entries at this show.
         is in itself a miracle, for that great conflict took its toll   During the period 1948-1950, many historically
         of dogs as well as people. The ravages of war    famous Akita dogs were produced including
         caused the normal shortages of commodities, and the  Goromaro-Go (regarded as the most important
         shortage of food rapidly became serious. The Akita   foundation stud dog in the restoration process),
         dog, which consumed the most food among          Jiroraru-Go (littermate to Goromaru-Go), Kongo-Go,
         Japanese dogs, suffered greatly, and gradually   Torafsa-Go, Long-Go, Dainikisaragi-Go, Shinzan-Go,
         dwindled in numbers. Dog and cat pelts began to be   Shinko-Go, Tohuko-Go, Arawai-Go, Tsukasa-Go,
         used to provide cold weather clothing for the military.  Kurogani-Go, Homon-Go, Tatenoryu-Go, Tamagumo-
         The large Akita dog thus became a primary target to   Go, Sachinishiki-Go, Kincho-Go, Shinben-Go, and
         be captured for such uses. According to dog owners   Tanihibiki-Go.
         who lived in Akita Prefecture at that time, the police   As the Akita dog became more popular and
         department issued orders for dogcatchers to go into   increased in numbers, the lineage of the dogs
         all of the towns and villages to capture and kill all   became a matter of great emphasis among the
         dogs, except for the Shepherd, which was being used  serious breeders. During this period emerged the two
         as a military dog. It is said that a considerable   main lines (the Ichinoseki and the Dewa), which
         number of Akita dogs were captured and clubbed to   became the starting point for the Akita breed as it
         death. During these dark days of 1941-1945, the   gained its first foothold in America during the 1950s
         Akita was threatened with virtual extinction.    and 1960s.
             No one knows for sure how many Akita dogs
         survived the World War II. One record of postwar   References
         dogs is found in the Akitainu Tokuhon (Akita Dog   1. Dr. Tatsuo Kimura, from Ventura, California, has been of
         Textbook) by Mr. Kiyono. It lists several dogs of the   great assistance in translating from Japanese to English.
         Ichinoseki line, including Ichinoseki-Go, Shintora-Go,   2. The Akiho Manual, August, 1970.
         Hachiman-Go, Tatenohana-Go, Arawashi-Go, and     3. Kajiwara, Naoto, My Thoughts on the Akita Dog.
         Dainimatsumine-Go. The Dewa line consisted of    4. Rhoden, N., and Hooper, J., "Helen Keller: Saint of
                                                          Three Burdens and the Forgotten Story of Her Akitas First
         Raiden-Go, Dewawaka-Go, Taishu-Go, Tatemitsu-    in America," The Akita Journal. Fall 1978, Yearbook Issue.
         Go, and Shinmutsu-Go.
             According to the Akiho magazine, some of the
         dogs shown at the 12th Akiho Show in April 1948,

   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12