Not everyone seems to make the connection, but in addition to this blog, I also set up www.japandogexport.com in 2012. While I originally was averse to the idea of finding dogs for people overseas, I started to realize that the medium size breeds were on the path to extinction here in Japan, with very little interest in their ownership. To help them gain more visibility outside Japan, to establish gene pools to preserve the breeds, and to help breeders overseas access the best possible dogs, I started to offer my services. I did this pro bono at first, and just for friends, but eventually it was taking up so much of my time and energy that it needed to pay for itself.
Over the last decade I'm proud to have been part of connecting many Nihon Ken with wonderful overseas homes, and helping to export all 6 of the Nihon Ken, many to countries they had never been seen before.
It has been an interesting journey. The rewarding parts of it have been seeing the breeds really take off overseas, and to see that uptick in interest translate into the Japanese media reporting on the Nihon Ken overseas with quite a bit of regularity (and commenting on their dropping numbers in Japan!). I've made so many connections and friendships with people overseas through our dogs, and for that I am truly grateful.
I feel that I've reached a point where I've done my bit in that regard. My goal has always been to NOT make a living off of my passion, the Japanese breeds. I'm lucky to have a specific skill set as a translator that keeps me quite busy. Coupled with hunting boar for the local government and some other business ventures, I make a comfortable living. Recently though, more and more of my time has been spent trying to keep up with replying to inquiries that come through www.japandogexport.com and a larger and larger portion of inquiries seem to be from people looking to cash in on the popularity of the Japanese breeds. It is to be expected, though I prefer to be helping true preservationists and fans of the Japanese breeds. As such, I've revamped the website!
www.japandogexport.com will continue to exist, although I will probably be looking to hand the reins over to someone else in the near future. It will continue to help pet owners with the import/export of their dogs to and from Japan. It will not however, be taking requests from people looking to purchase dogs from Japan, sight unseen, and then have them exported.
As I've mentioned many times on the blog, the situation here in Japan regarding the quality of kennels and breeders varies greatly, but unfortunately most are not up to my ideals of animal ownership and management. If I find homes for dogs from these kennels, I'm essentially helping maintain the status quo. It was necessary in the past, since this is where the dogs are, but moving forward I would prefer to work with people that are making a change in the way things are done here in Japan. And of course, I would prefer to have more time with my dogs, and more energy for my breeding program.
I understand that for many people, especially those involved with the medium size Nihon Ken, I may be the only information source and go between you are able to find. I will still be replying to inquiries I receive through the blog, and will try to help you continue to move forward with your breeding programs.