bullet  The Akita dog had a good rushing start but had no endurance, whereas the Tosa fighting dog had resiliency and endurance. To overcome the weaknesses of the Akita dog, some Akita dogs were crossbred with the Tosa fighting dog. [Read more]

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pp. 72-87, 1975, Shin Journal-sha, Tokyo, Japan

By Naoto Kajiwara

The History of The Akita Dog: The Late (1945-1975) Showa Period
( 1926-1989)

The number of Akita dogs that survived World War Two is not known. The Japanese public then was probably more focused on the first defeat of a great war than on the number of Akita dogs.

Mr. Hyoemon Kyono , in the Akitainu Tokuhon ( The Akita Dog Book ), lists the following dogs that survived the war: The Ichinoseki line consisted of Shintora-go , Dainiterunishiki-go , Hachiman-go ( sire of Hobun-go ), Datenohana-go , Arawashi-go and Dainimatsumine-go . The Dewa line consisted of Raiden-go , Dewawaka-go , Taishu-go , Datemitsu-go and Shinmutsu-go . Other surviving Akita dogs were: Etsumaru-go , Akaishime-go , Futatsuigoma-go and Fujinohana-go . Ichimaru-go of Shimokawaen and Genzohaku-go from Akita City. According to the Akitainu (name of the Akiho Bulletin), some of the Akita dogs shown at the Twelfth Akiho Show in April in the 23rd year of Showa ( 1948 ) were wartime survivors. The seven year old Bushi-go , owned by Mr. Fujishima and other Akita dogs such as Tamazakura-go , Hakubotan-go , Furuhime-go , Tomoe-go and Kofu-go ( Mitsukaze-go ), Terukaze-go , were considered as excellent Akita dogs in those days. Several Akita dogs of lesser quality born during the war were also shown. However, I believe that Shintora-go , mentioned by Mr. Kyono, was born after the Second World War, if the age of the dog mentioned in the Akiho Bulletin is correct.

The recovery of the Akita dog was rapid in the Odate area, which is considered as the place of origin of the Akita dog. The Eleventh Akiho Show (First postwar Akita dog show) was held on November 1947 with much fanfare.

Owing to the food shortage, raising of dogs immediately after the war was difficult. Fortunately, certain members of the U. S. Army of Occupation fell in love with the Akita dog, and some say that this led to recovery of the Akita dog.

The Twelfth Akiho Dog Show was held on April 29, 1948 with about sixty entries. Some were of excellent quality. Shintora-go , Taiko-go and Bushi-go were awarded the Yuryo Nihonken-sho (The Excellent Japanese Dog Award).

The first issue of the Akiho Bulletin , called the Akitainu , was published the following year in 1949.

The Thirteenth Akiho Dog Show, held on May 3, 1949, had 82 entries. Datemitsu-go , Ichinosekigoma-go , Shintora-go , Bushi-go and Odate-go were the reference dogs at this show. The winners were Long-go , Jiromaru-go and Tamazakura-go . Goromaru-go and Taihei-go were also present. In those days, all of the entries were combined into the Sogo (General) group from which the winners were selected. Winners were few and the majority were placed in the Junyu (Good) or Nintei (Satisfactory) class.

Many famous Akita dogs were produced during this period. Goromaru-go is regarded as "The Ancestor Dog That Revived The Akita Dog." Goromaru-go and his litter mate, Jiromaru-go were born in January 1948. Kongo-go , Torafusa-go , Long-go and Daininyogetsu-go ( or Dainijogetsu-go ) were also born that year.

The following year, Senzan-go , Senko-go , Tohoku-go , Araiwa-go , Tsukasa-go ), Tetsu-go , Hobun-go and Datenoryu-go were born.

The following year, in 1950, Kincho-go , Shinko-go , Tanihibiki-go , Tamakumo-go and his litter mate, Sachinishiki , were born.

As the popularity and numbers of Akita dog increased, the emphasis was placed on the pedigrees of the Akita dogs. As mentioned previously, two main bloodlines emerged: the Ichinoseki and the Dewa lines. Many, by choice, had both lines in their Akita dogs. However, soon thereafter, the Dewa line began to decline, so that today the majority of Akita dogs are of the Ichinoseki line.

Why did the Ichinoseki line flourish while the Dewa line go into a decline? Dogs from the Ichinoseki line, such as Goromaru-go and Tamakumo-go , produced outstanding representatives of the Japanese Akita dog. Many Akita dogs of today are the results of blending the bloodlines of these two dogs within the Ichinoseki line. On the other hand, the Dewa line did not produce any outstanding Akita dogs, thereafter.

Generally, the male dog is regarded as the representative of the bloodline in the pedigree. However, questions have often been raised on the pedigrees of the male's bloodline of the postwar Akita dogs. For example, if a male dog is bred to a foundation bitch from a different line, the offsprings differ in body form and color from the sire. The litter may resemble the dam, but the bloodline is named after the sire. This means that although the Dewa line has supposedly disappeared, it still exists today as a collateral line that merged with the Ichinoseki line, where the body forms of the Dewa line is seen occasionally.

The Ichinoseki name refers to those Akita dogs from an affluent family by that name in Niida Village , located in the suburbs of Odate . The ancestor of these dogs was Tochini-go , raised by Mr. Shigeie Izumi , the first chairman of Akiho . Tochini-go's pedigree is discussed in the Akiho bulletin No. 41 . His sire was a white Akita fighting dog called Mitane ( Sanshu-go ). His dam was Noro-gomame-go with a red goma coat. Although the name and coat color of Tochini-go's sire, grandfather and their owners are available, Tochini-go's date of birth is unknown. His dam, Noro-gomame-go, was owned by Mr. Noroda of Moritake Village in the district of Yamamoto , but her pedigree is unknown. Tochini-go was born at the kennel of Mr. Matsunosuke Noroda , a relative of the Mr. Noroda of Moritake Village. Tochini-go was transferred to Mr. Yosaburo Morokoshi of the same village and then to the kennel of Mr. Shigeie Izumi . His call name was "Aku" and he was used as a fighting dog. His photograph shows one floppy ear and a short curled tail. However, Tochini-go has the desirable facial features of a Japanese Akita dog.

Lack of accurate information on the pedigree of Tochini-go is probably due to the lack of documentation, and to reliance mainly on oral history from breeders and the informed. Therefore, I believe, that any reliable information on bloodlines of the Akita dog before this period are still difficult to obtain. Tochini-go lived just before the declaration of the natural monument in 1931 and his pedigree is not available. Even if available, these Akita dogs were probably mostly crossbred dogs of the Taisho Period ( 1912-1925 ) or regional dogs or Matagi dogs.

Successions of the Ichinoseki line is as follows: Tochini-go , Kin-go , Ichinosekitora-go , Jugoro-go , Ichinosekigoma-go and Goromaru-go and his successors. From Saburo-go came Arawashi-go , Tamakumo-go and his successors. The foregoing Akita dogs are representatives of the Ichinoseki line, within which are the Goromaru line, the Tamakumo line and the Unjo line (also known as the Azumazakura line). Thus the majority of the Akita dogs of today are from the foregoing lines or its collateral lines generally known as the Ichinoseki line.

The name for the Dewa line was derived from the Akita dog, Dewa-go of Mr. Yozaburo Ito of Odate , who owned the kennel named Akidate-en . The Dewa line's ancestor was called "Yari" , but was registered as Tachi-go . His offspring, Akidate-go , produced Dewa-go , which was followed by Dewawaka-go , Taishu-go , Kongo-go and Kincho-go . Not much information on Tachi-go is available. Dewa-go was born in 1941, just before to the war and was said to be a dog with a well built body with a goma ( sesame ) coat.

The Dewa line that was once highly praised with the Ichinoseki line as the matchless twin stars in the Akita dog world probably owes this to Kongo-go , fourth down the line from Dewa-go . During the rising popularity of the Akita dog immediately after the Second World War, Kongo-go so dominated the Akita dog world that during the height of his career, someone once said, "If it is not from Kongo-go, it is not an Akita dog." His owner, Mr. Heihachi Hashimoto went so far as to label Kongo-go's photograph with the name "Kongo-go, the National Treasure" . Kongo was used widely as a stud dog, resulting in Kincho-go that won the Meiyo-sho ( Award of Honor ) of Akiho. Kincho-go was followed by Shoryu-go , Kinho-go and Yako-go . Kongo's grandson, Sachiryu-go also was awarded Akiho's Meiyosho Award. However, the Dewa line soon went into a decline. While Akita dogs from other lines were improving, it was felt that dogs of the Kongo line showed body forms and colors suggestive of crossbreeding that were unbecoming as a Japanese dog. Furthermore, no outstanding dogs were produced after Sachiryu-go.

Recognizing the Akita dog's true qualities seemed to be very difficult immediately after the war, and this is also somewhat true today. Who was to foresee the decline of the Kongo-go and Kincho-go lines during their height of popularity? Judges of Akita dog organizations, supposedly pioneers at that time, gave the highest awards to Kongo-go and Kincho-go. Since it was difficult to establish a true vision of the Akita dog at that time, such a trend was unavoidable. As a result, the restoration of the Akita dog was delayed and much confusion occurred among Akita dog fanciers. This trend still prevails. Unless the champions of various Akita dog organizations continuously produce outstanding offsprings, the attainment of fame or the establishment of a current line is not possible. With time, they become Akita dogs of the past and are soon forgotten.

Even now, the Akita dog's true qualities are difficult to determine. In general, dogs of the Ichinoseki line have been of excellent quality and generally the male lineage has been continued.

The bloodlines of postwar Akita dogs have been complex and not all of the dogs of the Ichinoseki line are desirable. Some bitches from the collateral lines have also contributed much to the success of the Ichinoseki line. This may be confirmed by a careful review of the Akita dog's main bloodlines from the end of the war to today. The continuous changes may be due to the lack of uniformity of a given Akita dog's bloodline. Coat color in vogue at a given time may have also influenced this swaying from time to time. The development of the postwar Akita dog has been largely dependent on dog shows.

Therefore, changes in color or appearance from time to time may be called fashionable, but may raise some questions. However, the cycles of coat color changes may have improved the breed since the war. Such examples may be seen in some of the Meiyo-sho ( Award of Honor ) winners. Beginning with Kincho-go and down to Sachiryu-go , the eleventh winner, the coat color was usually goma ( sesame ) or akagoma ( red sesame ), with the exception of Tamakumo , the fourth winner, which was a brindle. Various opinions on the bloodlines and appearances of dogs among the local rivals have been expressed, but opinions on the coat color changes were not very strong until the twelfth Meiyo-sho winner, Unjo-go . Although this may not be true today, offsprings with features that differed from their parents began to assume the main line of dogs of the succeeding several generations beginning with Unjo-go. It seems dogs that resembled the sire and had the same coat color had the tendency to assume the leading role.

From 1955, a series of the Akiho's Meiyosho Awards were awarded the Unjo line in succeeding five generations, namely: Unjo-go , Muchi-go , Hachiman-go , Azumazakura-go , Azumagumo-go and Bankomaru-go . Such dominance for ten or more years by certain dogs resulted in coat color changes and progress of the postwar Akita dog toward restoration.

Unjo-go , out of sire, Go-go and dam, Wakasa-go , was born on January 1, 1955 at the Sato Kennel in the district of Senboku in Akita. Both parents were from the Ichinoseki line. The sire's line consisted of Shintora-go , Hamakaze-go , Hakko-go and to Go-go . The dam's line consisted of Saburo-go , Arawashi-go , Tamakumo-go and to Wakasa-go . Unjo-go's sire, Go-go was structurally sound, but his coat color was not outstanding and he also had undershot jaws. Much was expected from Unjo-go from his younger days and he matured into a large impressive dog with large bones. He had a sesame coat. He was highly praised, but lacked energy and character. He was used widely for breeding and his offsprings almost dominated the Yoken ( 6 to 10 months ) and Wakainu ( 10-18 months ) class. However, they did not do well in the Soken ( 18-30 months ) and Seiken ( 30 months and up ) classes. In spite of this, he produced many excellent dogs. Outstanding offsprings that resembled Unjo-go were Mitsugumo-go and Shunko-go, but they were not regarded as representatives of the line. However, Muchi-go , a red pinto, met this goal.

Muchi-go was born on May 30, 1956 at the Yaotome-en Kennel in Nakasen in Southern Akita. His dam, Kiyohime-go , was out of Goromaru-go and dam, Chinpei-go . Muchi-go , along with Goromaru-go and Kiyohime-go were awarded the Akiho's Sakushutsukoro-sho for producing outstanding Akita dogs for two successive generations. During the Spring of 1960, I visited Mr. Komezawa of the Yaotome-en Kennel at Nakasencho in the district of Senboku in Akita and saw two month old Azumazakura-go in the city of Omagari. Kiyohime was ten years old at that time. I was able to see Kiyohime-go with her offsprings. At that time, Kyohime-go was a beautiful red dog with faded cheeks. Reportedly, she had few shades of black at the side of the mouth when young. Prior to this, I saw several red dogs with faded cheeks and one of them was the bitch, Hikari-go ( see photograph on page 79 in book ) from Akita City. I was told that she was more than ten years old, but she reminded me of the dogs of the Matagi line. She was considered as an excellent Japanese dog. However, the sternness of her eyes and the lack of large bones in the legs was not becoming of an Akita dog. Although her cheeks were faded, the color and body style were different. Kiyohime-go , as a bitch, had the height and body volume. Her structure, facial features and temperament were excellent. I remember being overwhelmed from seeing such a large type Japanese Akita dog. When standing, faults were seen in the angle of the hind legs, but she would still be rated as an outstanding female Akita dog today.

Muchi-go was a magnificent and beautiful red pinto of that era. Height and body volume were average. Facial features as a Soken ( 18 to 30 months ) revealed very deep eyes, a high curled tail so it seemed to increase his height. Some faults were noticeable in the pinto coat and his temperament. However, he was an excellent dog for that time and reminded me of his grandfather, Hakko-go . Muchi-go was awarded the Akiho's Meiyosh-o at the 35th Headquarters Show of May 1959 and dominated the Akita dog world for a time and popularized the pinto dog. He produced many winners. However, his most outstanding offspring was Hachiman-go , a red dog with different color tones and features.

Hachiman-go was born in December 1957 at the Ryokan Tsuruya Kennel in the city of Omagari in Southern Akita. His dam, Tsuruhime-go was out of Monjumaru-go , a Meiyo-sho winner. The dam of Tsuruhime-go was Reigetsu-go out of sire: Senzan-go x dam: Kiyohime-go .

Senzan-go , out of sire: Shintora-go and dam: Daininyogetsu-go , won in the Soken ( 18 to 30 months ) group and second place in the Sogo (Overall) group at the Fifteenth Akiho's Headquarters Show. The facial features and structure of Senzan-go resembled his dam's sire, Goma-go ( Ichinosekigoma-go or Tsubakigoma-go ), which reminded one of the kofu (old style, antique) body structure with adequate bone, but lacked the height. Senzan-go, perhaps also resembled his dam, Daininyogetsu-go .

Monjumaru-go , out of sire: Koryu-go and dam: Dainishirabotan-go , was born in January 1954 and won the Meiyo-sho at the 1955 Akiho's Fall 27th Headquarters Show. Mr. Tetsunosuke Yamada raised him until 1956 and then Monjumaru-go was moved to the Otasho Kennel in Osaka . He was sold at a high price and Monjumaru-go had the reputation of having raised the price in the Akita dog market. Monjumaru-go also probably contributed to the progress of the Akita dog. Mr. Ota of the Otasho Kennel and I are very close friends. Monjumaru-go spent ten happy years at Mr. Ota's home, and therefore, I am well acquainted with Monjumaru-go. He had some minor faults as a dog of the Dewa line, but was highly valued as the largest Meiyo-sho winner.

Hachiman-go was four or five months old, when I saw him during one of my many trips to the Hachimantai Kennel in Kazuno in Akita, to study Akita dogs. I also saw an old Akita bitch called Yuse-go ( or Torai-go ) and Muchi-go's daughter, Hagime-go that was about six or seven months of age then. I do not remember Yuse-go's bloodline, but she was a large white dog with the soboku-kan ( the artless or simple appearance ). Hagime-go was the most outstanding dog that I saw during that trip, and I wanted to purchase her. However, she was not for sale. I later learned that she had succumbed to the fumes near the Tamagawa Hot Springs in the Hachimantai Mountains. This was indeed a sad loss of a promising dog. At that time, I did not ever dream that Hachiman would surpass Hagime-go to attain such greatness. Hachiman-go was an akagoma ( red sesame ) with a blaze on his face. The red was a very deep color, but his blaze was not sharply defined. He lacked height, but had large bones, a gorgeous head, well developed chest, brawny legs, a majestic tail curl and a very masculine appearance. He won the Meiyo-sho at the Akiho's 40th Headquarters Show in the Spring of 196l. His offsprings, Azumazakura-go and Hachiryu-go , were also Meiyo-sho winners. Many other excellent Akita dogs were produced, but Hachiryu-go and Hachimanmaru-go, that resembled their sire, Hachiman-go, did not become successors of the bloodline. This was accorded to Azumazakura-go , a brindle that resembled his dam, Tamakiyo-go .

Azumazakura-go , out of sire: Hachiman and dam: Tamakiyo-go, was also born in Omagari. His dam: Tamakiyo-go , out of sire: Tamakumo-go and dam: Akemi-go , and Tanmame-go (dam of Hachiryu-go) and Meigyoku-go (grandmother of Azumagumo-go) , are litter mates. Tamakiyo-go and Tamame-go were brindles, while Meigyoku-go had a beautiful red coat. I had the opportunity of seeing Tamakiyo twice. Her brindle coat was magnificent and her body was somewhat slender. When I learned later that she was killed in a railroad accident, I felt that a precious foundation bitch had been lost.

As stated before, I saw Azumazakura-go and his litter mates at two months of age. Being an excellent animal, I believe he was sold soon thereafter. I saw him again as a Wakainu ( 10 to 18 months ) at the Headquarters Show in Odate. The inexperienced Azumazakura-go was placed second, but showed great promises. As a Soken ( 18 to 30 months ), his magnificent ability placed him first at the Akiho's 41st Headquarters Show. He received the Meiyo-sho at the 43rd Headquarters Show the following year. As a Soken ( 18 to 30 months ), Azumazakura-go did not have Unjo-go's volume, Muchi-go's splendor, nor Hachiman's expression. However, his body balance, his brindle coat and especially his stance in the show ring was splendid, and he fascinated the Akita dog fans. Azumazakura-go was hailed as an excellent dog among the successive Meiyo-sho Akita dogs and was widely used for breeding. His first successor among his many offsprings was Azumagumo-go with the same brindle coat that also became a Meiyo-sho winner.

Azumagumo-go ( also known as Toun ), out of sire: Azumazakura-go and dam: Gyokurei-go , was born on August 2, 1961 at the Tokyo Matsuda Kennel . Among the Meiyo-sho dogs, Azumagumo-go was a product of close linebreeding. His dam, Gyokurei-go , was out of sire, Hachiman-go , and dam, Meigyoku-go . Azumagumo-go's sire, Azumazakura-go, was out of sire, Hachiman-go and dam, Tamakiyo-go. Since Meigyoku-go and Tamakiyo-go were litter mates, this is inbreeding. As a Yoken ( 6 to 10 months ), Azumagumo-go was already very popular and is said to have placed first in every show entered. Similar to his sire, Azumagumo was not a very large Akita dog. However, he had a body structure becoming of a brindle and his composed manner in the ring was admired very much. As a Seiken ( 30 months and more ), he was awarded the 27th Meiyo-sho in May of 1964. He was used widely for breeding and produced many excellent Akita dogs. One of his female offsprings, Ukigumo-go also won the Meiyo-sho.

A would-be successor to Azumazakura-go was believed by some to be the red coated Bankomaru-go that suddenly appeared as a Soken ( 18 to 30 months ) entry and won the Meiyo-sho at the 1966 Akiho's Fall Headquarters Show. His dam was the well-known foundation bitch, Daiunme-go , that produced three Meiyo-sho winners: Bankomaru-go , Kumohibiki-go and Tamagumome-go . Daiunme-go was out of sire, Daiun-go and dam, Kiyome-go . Her grandfather was Tamakumo-go and her grandmothers were Makome-go ( Masachime-go ) and Kiyohime-go . Daiunme-go had an elegant black brindle coat with a feminine form and excellent features. However, she was not shown, owing to injuries to her ear. Her genes were excellent. Bankomaru-go's litter mate, Nanun-go , with Matorame-go ( Makome ) produced Kumomaru-go and Tetsuyuki-go . Kumomaru-go produced Tamayu-go , while Tetsuyuki-go produced Matsukaze-go . Tanigumo-go produced Kumohibiki-go that produced Tamakumohibiki-go . Thus, Bankomaru-go came from an outstanding line of red Akita dogs with a white mask and sesame coat in the saddle area. His hind quarters and tail curl were faulty, but his facial features were of the excellent postwar Akita dog type. However, Bankomaru-go did not produce any outstanding offsprings.

Thus the successive male lineage of Meiyo-sho winners starting with Unjo-go was interrupted at Azumagumo-go and Bankomaru-go. No other example of successive Akita dogs from a given line receiving the Meiyo-sho for five generations has been repeated so far. It is indeed an outstanding bloodline. From a hereditary standpoint, the lineage of the dam seems more evident. None of the male offsprings resembled the sire, namely: Unjo-go and Muchi-go, Muchi-go and Hachiman-go; Hachiman-go and Azumazakura-go; Azumazakura-go and Bankomaru-go. Akita dogs with the great maternal features that go back several generations seem to continue the bloodline. In general, these winners had coat colors vastly different from their sires.

The change of the Akita dog from the working group of the past to the show dog of today may be due to a trend. Also, several reasons for the changes in coat colors with time are possible also.

Purifying to the original state from crossbreedings of the 1890s has not yet been attained. This problem would not have occurred if purity had been maintained. Another reason is that the Akita dog is admired and much sought as a show dog. Therefore, if an Akita dog of a certain color and body style during a particular period wins at a dog show, the tendency is for Akita dog breeders to avidly seek the stud services of that dog. This results in a great increase within a very short time, many dogs which resemble that new line. If these dogs are of good quality, this is followed by a new wave from this line. However, if one bred their foundation bitch to a stud dog merely on his popularity without any careful studies as to structural quality and coat color, it could result in the loss of good qualities of the foundation bitch in the offsprings. Then the dog lovers turn to another line with different features and usually of a different coat color.

Changes of the past twenty or more years since the Second World War will now be discussed. When dog shows were resumed after the war, Akita dogs of that period had more different colors than today. They were goma ( sesame ), red goma, brindle, black brindle, black goma, white and, occasionally, I recall seeing a few black dogs. A few years later, black goma and red goma became numerous. For example, at the 21st Headquarters Show of November 1953, the following coat colors were seen among the 127 entries: 36 black gomas, 35 red gomas, 15 reds, 13 black brindles, 10 gomas, 8 whites, 7 brindles and 3 pintos. This has changed gradually since. At the 21st show, Goromaru-go's offspring, Tanihibiki-go won in the Sogo ( Overall ) class, and the descendants of Goromaru began to come to the fore with the increase in red and red goma coats. This was followed by the popularity of the pinto coats with the appearance of Unjo-go and Muchi-go , followed by Hachiman-go and Hachiryu-go 's period, when the red coat again became plentiful. However, the champion brindle, Asagumo-go , soon started the brindle trend. The golden age of the brindle came with the Meiyo-sho winners, Azumazakura-go and Gakusui-go . During this period, more than half of the entries were brindles and this trend continued with the successive winnings of the Meiyosho by Azumagumo-go , Tengoku-go and Hachimantaitora-go . Brindle Akita dogs then went into a slight decline, when it was believed that brindles had lost some of the Japanese dog type. However, the appearance of Kumohibiki-go with an excellent brindle coat revived the brindle coat period with the winning of the highest awards by Tamazakura-go , Taikoku-go and Tamagumohibiki-go in succession.

However, at this time, the red coat of today gradually came to the forefront. This was probably due to Bankomaru-go , a red dog with a white mask that won the Meiyo-sho just before this period. Red dogs prior to Hachiryu-go and Kaiten-go , in general, had a black muzzle with a blaze ( a thin white streak of coat running centrally on the face from the black nose between the eyes up to the head ) with no definite red and white demarcations with red variations throughout. Also, occasionally, a white Akita dog with an excellent coat, such as Ryusho-go ( Ryumasa-go ), won the 15th Meiyo-sho.

Thus, coat color changes of postwar Akita dogs are believed by some to be due to prevailing popularity of a given color. But, that is not the only reason. Akita dogs of today were developed from trends in dog shows, and from this, improvements in the Akita dog has occurred. As mentioned previously, trying to produce good Akita dogs after the war from the same line was not very successful.

Almost all of the well-known Akita dogs bloodlines of today are from the Senboku area in Southern Akita. The success rate of the same Ichinoseki lines from Northern Akita was low, while dogs from the Senboku and Yuri areas remain as the main line of the dogs of today. Outstanding offsprings by Goromaru-go are often attributed to his breeding to foundation bitches from Southern Akita.

Owing to judging methods of that period, Goromaru-go's patchy pinto did not bring him any high ratings in the show ring. Even after he became a popular stud dog, he was used more often in Southern Akita, such as in the districts of Senboku and Yuri, and not used as often in Northern Akita. This was fortunate for Goromaru-go , since the results were greater than expected with the production of excellent Akita dogs of the Japanese dog type, which became the foundation of the Goromaru line. Reportedly, Goromaru-go's dam, Futatsuigoma-go , came from the Matagi line of Ani in Northern Akita. The success of the Ichinoseki line is due to the excellence of foundation bitches from Southern Akita. These dogs should be highly commended.

Reportedly, Akita dogs from Southern Akita were originally from the Odate area and called the Taihei ( Ohira ) line by some and strongly resembled the bloodlines of the Matagi dog. Some of the well-known foundation bitches are Chinpei-go -(sire: Dateshiro-go x dam: Peace-go ), Akemi-go (sire: Fudo-go x dam: Hinai-go ), Kiyohime-go (sire: Goromaru-go x dam: Chinpei-go ) and Wakasa-go (sire: Tamakumo-go x dam: Akemi-go ). Wakasa-go was litter mate to Myogyoku-go , Tamakiyo-go and Tamame-go . I also remember Harumi-go (sire: Goromaru-go x dam: Hisamame-go ), Kiyome-go (sire: Tamakumo-go x dam: Kiyohime-go ) and Daiunme-go (sire: Daiun-go x dam: Kiyome-go ). The preference for foundation bitches from Southern Akita was probably because of their higher purity. This was due to very little crossbreedings with the fighting dogs of the Meiji Period ( 1868-1912 ), when compared to those Akita dogs from the Odate area in the north. A significant number of surviving regional dogs in Southern Akita maintained the matagi bloodline, which greatly influenced the Akita dogs in this area.

Male dogs receiving the Akiho's Meiyo-sho since Azumagumo-go and Bankomaru-go are as follows: at the 1967 Fall Show, Tamazakura-go (sire: Minezakura-go x dam: Marihime-go ), Kumohibiki-go (sire: Tanigumo-go x dam: Daiunme-go ) and Taikoku-go (sire: Araboshi-go x dam: Masagohime-go ). At the 1968 Spring Headquarters Show, Tamakumohibiki-go (sire: Kumohibiki-go x dam: Torafusa ) and Kaiten-go (sire: Yama-go x dam: Rikon-go ), followed by Kumomaru-go [sire: Nanun-go x dam: Matorame ( Makome-go ), Matsukaze-go (sire: Tetsuyuki x dam: Tamamo-go ), Fujinmaru-go (sire: Matsukaze-go x dam: Shushun-go ), Tsunashiro-go (sire: Tamagumo-go x dam: Shinai-go ) and Goshoryu-go (sire: Nienojiro-go ( Shinojiro-go ) x dam: Dateshiro-go ). The majority of these Meiyo-sho winners were from the Goromaru-go line of the Ichinoseki line or from the blending of the Tamakumo and Unjo lines. A majority of Akita dogs of today have the bloodlines of the foregoing dogs.

Twenty years have passed since the establishment of the Meiyo-sho. As of today, in the Spring of 1973, 3l male dogs and 19 female dogs have won the Meiyo-sho. In general, Akita dogs til now have already been evaluated. Some winners left no outstanding offsprings, while others have improved the bloodlines. One is not able to predict which dogs will leave their names in the history of the Akita dog, or which dogs will have a succession of outstanding offsprings. One must wait several years before making any definite appraisals of the offsprings.

The postwar Akita dogs differ from those from the Meiji ( 1868-1912 ) to the prewar Odate (Akita) dogs, and progress is still being made. The quality of the Akita dog has improved markedly toward that of a large Japanese dog. Many variations and meanderings have been overcome, so that, in my opinion, the large Japanese dog, the Akita dog of today, is not inferior to other Japanese dogs. One could say that the proper character and shape of the Akita dog is being established today.


Note: Bold types and italics were supplied by the translator.
kajiw7.bk 12/21/94, 07/31/97.

Grading and Awards by Akiho (Ref. The Akiho Manual )

Awards: Meiyo-sho - Awarded to dogs and bitches at headquarters shows. They are chosen among dogs and bitches having achieved the grade of Tokuyu , and considered as having extra special qualities.

1. Tokuyu (Superior),
2. Yushu (Excellent),
3. Junyu (Good),
4. Nintei (Satisfactory),
5. Shikkaku (Disqualification).
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