Tuesday, September 30, 2014


Festivals in Japan are fantastic. They just are. The colors, sounds, tastes, sights, energy, I love it.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


One of the things I love about Japan is the distinct seasons and the way each season is celebrated. Every year I get to experience the passage of time in a very physical way.

Autumn flowers like Cosmos are forever linked with cool breezes in my mind.

The post harvest burning of the rice fields has begun as well, and the smoke this time of year always seems to hang and drift away slowly.

Monday, September 22, 2014

NIPPO Gunma Branch Tenrankai 2014 Autumn

Gunma is just over 200km away, so not a NIPPO regional that we in Chiba go to all the time, but this time there were quite a few of us making the trip. The weather was supposed to be stormy, so I prepped all my cold weather rain gear. Needless to say it was not a comfortable day, but the weather was beautiful.

Here's Mumu produced by Nidai Iwahori Sou. She's just entered the wakainu 1 class, and is looking terrific.

I took Akane, Goji, and Taka to the show, but did not enter anyone. This was just a tune up for the upcoming regionals, and socialization for the puppies.

Meme, another female bred by Nidai Iwahori Sou. She took 1st place in class at the NIPPO Grand National last year, and many other first place finishes in class at regionals. She took first again today in the Souken class.

A black sesame male out of Izumo Yano Sou lines.

The rear end of a Kishu.

A yushoku Kishu male.

The rare sesame Shiba.

All in all it was a long but very good day, and worth the drive.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Shura no Hana

One of my favorite enka tunes, Shura no Hana by Meiko Kaji. I think she's absolutely stunning as well.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Visiting Friends

I visited my friends over at Yamabiko again today. I enjoyed the ferry ride across Tokyo bay since it was an extremely calm day, and I get sea sick pretty easily. We had tea and Japanese sweets, long conversations about dogs, and I got to borrow some videos of hunting with Shikoku and Kishu. They also gave me a chainsaw and grass cutter they are no longer using.

Here's an 8 month old male they produced. He just placed 2nd at the Kanagawa NIPPO branch tenrankai.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Akane & Goji: 4 months

Akane Go, 4months, Kunitaka (Nidai Iwahori Sou) x Bishoume (Izumo Yano Sou)

Satsukihime Go 4 months Kotofusa (Nidai Iwahori Sou)x Tochimitsuhime (Izumo Yano Sou)


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Summer Vistas

All hail the iPhone. These are all shots I took near my house this summer.

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Cabin Porch

Work on the cabin is steadily progressing. Mark's creative flair and heavy lifting, with a little help from me, bouncing ideas off each other, my brother's and friend Josh's professional carpentry skills, neighbor James' supply of quirky materials, and bit of help from other randoms, and here we are. It's coming together. The whole front of the house is a million miles away from what it was when I moved in here a year and a half ago. It's a slow but steady organic march toward something. Just not sure what.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Kai Ken Aigokai

Founded in 1931, the Kai Ken Aigokai (Kai Dog Protection Society) has always been the premier registry for the Kai Ken. In the early days of the breed, there was collaboration with NIPPO, and Kai were shown at NIPPO shows, with some placing very well. However the split came when NIPPO set the standards for the Japanese breeds, with a standard for the large breeds (Akita), the medium breeds (Shikoku, Kishu, Kai, Hokkaido, Koshi no Inu), and the small breeds (Shiba).

The size for the medium breeds was set at 52cm for males, 49cm for females. The Kai had traditionally been smaller than the other medium sized breeds, with specimens varying in size, and the KKA standard accepts sizes between 40-50cm. There were also disagreements regarding tongue spotting, urajiro, and other details in the standard, which lead to what we have today: Kai are primarily registered with and shown in the KKA, with few to none in NIPPO and JKC shows. NIPPO has taken steps in recent years to accept smaller Kai, and more tongue spotting.

The KKA no longer maintains a website, but it's offices are located at:
6-20 Chuou, Kofu-shi, Yamanashi-ken, Japan 400-0032
TEL: 055-226-7563

The KKA holds two shows a year, with no regional shows. The first is held in spring on the first Sunday of April, and the second held the last Sunday of November.

The KKA issues pedigrees which are recognized by NIPPO (limited registration however), but not recognized by the JKC. This means that most Kai pups cannot receive Japan Kennel Club export pedigrees (FCI).

Retirement Home for Hime

This is Tochimitsuhime (aka Hime). http://www.shikoku-pedigree.com/details.php?id=63353
DOB: 2007/09/10
She just had her 7th birthday the other day. She's had 2 litters here at my house, and a few before that at Mr.Yano's kennel, and I think it's time for her to be retired. I've hinted about it recently, and a few people have inquired about her, so I figured I'd put all the information up here for people to look at. If you think you could give her a nice retirement home, feel free to let me know. In order to keep selecting dogs to keep here for breeding, I've come to grips with the fact that I will have to continue making space for new blood. In this case I've kept Goji, one of Hime's pups from her last litter.

Hime has been exceptionally healthy other than 1 run in with HGE http://nihonken.blogspot.jp/2013/06/hime.html
She also has good hips/knees.

She's a strong little bugger, and tenacious when she chooses to be. I've hunted with her a bit, but she doesn't really have enough drive to be a serious hunter. She mostly stays within 10 meters of me, and joins Baron when he gets on boar.

Here you can see the first litter she had here at my house http://nihonken.blogspot.jp/2013/07/kishu-x-shikoku.html

Hime is great with my males, but terrible with my other females. She has gotten along with other females before, but definitely not Shikoku females. She doesn't really play much with other dogs. Just a little play bow here and there.

Hime will chase cats and small critters.

She's a very low energy dog (unless the post man comes visiting), in the house and out. She doesn't destroy things indoors, and is toilet trained. I can actually walk her off leash as long as there's no worry of running into cats or other dogs. She's generally okay with strangers outside the house, just not okay with them walking into the house uninvited (she can be iffy about people coming into the house so needs to be monitored). She will alarm bark, but generally stops on command (after I've gone to see what's up). Just to add to this, Hime loves my nieces. And also, she has never shown any separation anxiety, and is crate trained.

She's not picky about food, meaning she'll eat just about anything, including fruits and vegetables (have to watch her weight haha).

To sum it up I'm looking for someone who doesn't have any other pets (maybe a male dog), and is looking for an easy going companion that likes to lounge around the house, and maybe go on long walks or hikes  on weekends. She will enjoy sitting around on the sofa, getting scratchies, and letting the mailman now that she's got her eye on him.

Monday, September 8, 2014

NIPPO Show Holland 2014

I had a few dogs that needed to be transported to Europe, so arranged my trip to coincide with the NIPPO Show Holland 2014. I helped translate for the NIPPO judge, and assisted in the ring. The show was held in mostly NIPPO style, with a few twists. The weather could have been better, but at least it did not pour rain (just cold with drizzle here and there). With around 100 dogs (I think that's how many it was!) going through 1 ring, Mr.Iwasa and I were extremely busy. I wish we had been able to spend more time evaluating each dog. Maybe next time NIPPO will send 2 judges.

The BIS judging

The Shikoku female that took BIS. She was a very nice dog and deserved the win.

Evaluating some Shiba.

Checking the teeth of that many dogs was a bit of a nightmare. At least all you can see is my underwear.
There's a lot more I could add to this post about all the friends I was able to meet up with at the show, and getting to see so many dogs that I've had a hand in sending to Europe. But, I'm busy, busy, busy, at the moment (hence the huge break between my last blog post and this). Suffice it to say, after I got back home I looked at the picture of the 6 dogs lined up competing for BIS that had been posted to FB, and I felt really proud. I realized I had a hand in 3 of those dogs being in Europe. So as to keep everything impartial, I had not told the judge about any of the dogs that I had sent to Europe that were at the show. He did not know the names of the dogs, or where they had come from. Anyway, things like this (and of course happy dogs and owners) are what make exporting dogs worth it.