Discussions of Kiyohime-go


Discussions of Kiyohime-go


From the Honorable Mr. Kajiware, Mr. Okada, Mr. Ishibashi, Mr. Ohara and Mr. Komatsu

"My Thoughts on The Akita Dog" 1973

By Naoto Kajiwara (translated by Tatsuo Kimura)


As previously mentioned, the success of the bloodlines of Goromaru-go and Tamakumo-go soon after the war was possible mainly from the breeding of good bitches from Southern Akita.


Kiyohime-Go - During the spring of 1959 (35th year of Showa) I visited the home of Mr. Komezawa of the Yaotome-en Kennel at Nakasencho in Senboku-gun, Akita, and saw 2 month old Azumazakura-go in the city of Omagari. Kiyohime-go was 10 years old at that time. I recall being allowed to see Kiyohime and her offspring together. Kiyohime at that time was a beautiful red dog with faded cheeks. According to others, she had some shade of black at the side of the mouth when she was young. Kiyohime as a female dog had good height and body volume. Her structure, facial features, and temperament, were excellent. I remember being overwhelmed with the feeling of seeing such a large type Japanese Akita dog. When standing, there were some faults in the angle of the hind legs, but she would be rated as an outstanding female dog today". Kiyohime was awarded Akiho's Sakushutsukorosho for producing outstanding dogs and The Prime Minister Award.


"The Akita Dog's Roots In Southern Akita" translated by Tatsuo Kimura 1970s Panel: Mutsuo Okada, Tamejiro Ishibashi, Kiyoshi Komatsu, Ryoichi Ohara and Kaneharu Miyahara (Editor)


Okada: There are no black masks in the Shikoku dog, Kishu and Shiba dogs and none on the Tohoku matagi dogs of the past.


Ishibashi: Therefore, we are now talking about the large Japanese dog to which the topic of the mask is related.


Ohara: At that time, Mr. Komatsu of Honjo had a female with no mask from Mr. Kyono's line. Since she had no mask, it is said that Mr. Funakoshi, who owned Goromaru, refused to breed this female to Goromaru at first.


Komatsu: Two dogs of entirely different types.


Okada: Dogs with very large heads and boxy faces were selling well in those days.


Ishibashi: Large dogs with massive heads and ravenous appetites were valued more highly. (Laughter) They were also purchased according to how much more they weighed. (Laughter) If the dog weighed 2 kan 500 momme (9.3 kilograms, 20.46 pounds at two months, they were sold for 50,000 yen ($139 at 360 yen/$1.00. (Laughter) Thus, genuine Japanese dogs were reduced to skin and bones. (Laughter)


Okada: Therefore, Mr. Ishihara placed Kiyohime in the best of show category at that time. Almost everyone was shocked because Kiyohime had a yellowish red and white mask.


Editor: Where did Kiyohime come from?


Ishibashi: She is a dog from Senboku. She came from a Iwate matagi.


Komatsu: A dog from the Taihei line.


Ishibashi: That is correct. Dogs of the Taihei line do not have a massive head.


Editor: What is the Taihei line?


Ishibashi: It is a line of dogs from Taihei-go of Mr. Matsutaro Ito of Kiyomizu Village in Senboku-gun. Taihei was born immediately after the war. His dam was Datenohana. She always slept in front of the liquor store called Datenohana. The ancestry of this dog is unknown. Mr. Ito remembers from his childhood that when hunters from the mountains of the Tohoku area often came to his house to lodge for the night. The dog was rated very highly by these hunters. Since this was the home of the village mayor, these hunters must have spent the night there quite often. Some of the matagi dog bloodlines from a wide geographical area may have been introduced during this time.


Okada: Those so accustomed to looking at only dogs of the Kongo line or other similar dogs were quick to state that Kiyohime has a foxy face, when Mr. Ishihara placed her in first place. However, even in her twilight years, her standing figure was still something to behold. Didn't second place go to Okan-go with a black mask?


Ishibashi: Kiyohime was, indeed, a true Japanese dog for that time.


Okada: However, much discussion occurred during Kiyohime's debut. Actually, she became the foundation bitch for the Akiho dogs of today. Would you agree?


Ishibashi: That is correct.


Okada: However, for a time, the good features of Kiyohime were completely lost and other undesirable features were favored.


Komatsu: If Kiyohime was entered in today's Akiho shows, she would get a Tokuyu (Excellent) Award for sure.


Okada: Some of the popular Akiho dogs of that period such as Muchi and Hachiman did not resemble Kiyohime. (note: Kiyohime is Muchi's dam and Muchi is Hachiman's Sire).


Ishibashi: Kiyohime was placed only in the Junyu (Good) Class during her first showing and did not win a Tokuyu. And yet she went on later to win the Prime Minister's Award.


Komatsu: However, many outstanding foundation bitches were in the same situation. Azumazakura's dam, Tamakiyo, was placed in the Junyu Grade at the beginning. However, she eventually won a Tokuyu Award. Even by today's standard, she will probably again win a Tokuyu Award.


Ishibashi: Many judges tend to preconceive a puppy's mature form based on the puppy's appearance in the show ring. It is rather unreasonable to conclude beforehand, the presence or absence of certain refinements. Kiyohime, as a younger dog, was rather thin and light in appearance and thus was placed in the Junyu Class. However, she revealed her truly great qualities at maturity. Thus, one can say that no judge can accurately predict the final outcome of a dog except by watching the development of the dog from time to time.

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