Tamakumo-go by Mutsuo Okada


Aiken Journal, 272:64-65, (June) 1982 
Translated by Tatsuo Kimura 6-24-99 - All Rights Reserved 
(Note: Bold print and words in italics were added by the translator. TK)


Tamakumo (OR TAMAGUMO) SERIES (1)  
By Mutsuo Okada 


        Tamakumo-go was born at the Mio (Mitsuo) Kennel of Mr. Toei (or Katsumasa) Mio (or Mitsuo) of Tokyo, on December 13, 1950 He was a black brindle. His owner was the late Mr. Ryosuke Tadamoto of Hongo in Tokyo.


        The pedigree is as follows: 






 (survived WWII)
  Akikyo No. 801


 Nippo Large No. 959





 Nippo Large No. 403






 (or Sansho-go)
      Akikyo No. 1149
      Born  Feb. 10, 1950
      Black Brindle 

 Akiho No. 2377 





 Akiho No. 2983 






I believe that one of the prominent foundation bloodlines of the Akita dogs that would follow Goromaru, in second place, today would be Tamakumo. However, depending on one's viewpoint, one could also say that the influx from the bloodline of Tamakumo was greater than that of Goromaru. Either way, Tamakumo was an outstanding dog and with Goromaru produced the two main bloodlines. 


        I would also like to add the bloodline of Hakuho-go, the main bloodline of Akikyo, as the third outstanding male dog to the two main bloodlines. Included in the bloodline of Hakuho were also affiliated bloodlines of Goromaru and Tamakumo. 


        Tamakumo-go's sire was Arawashi-go that was mentioned in the February issue of this journal (Aiken Journal 268-p62 - 63, 1982). The dam was Sankatsu-go owned by the late Mr. Toei Mio of Hongo who ran a bicycle shop. 


        The littermates of Tamakumo were: Sachinishiki (the first winner of Akikyo's Gold Medal), Sachitorame (6th place winner at Akikyo’s Fourth Headquarters Show), and Sachiharume-go. All of his littermates were labeled "Sachi" except for "Tamakumo". Furthermore, his owner, Mr. Ryosuke Tadamoto was known as the tamaya (Jeweler) in Hongo where he ran a large optical establishment. Originally, the dog was given an unusual name, "Gankyo-no-tama-ga-kumoru” (Cloudy glasses). However, as Tamakumo became well known, his name did not sound so strange after all and came to be looked upon as a fine name. 


        Details on the birth of Tamakumo are in another publication by Mr. Katsusuke Ishihara [Ishihara, K., “Omoide No Akitainu, Tamakumo-go” (“My Merories of The Akita Dog, Tamakumo Go”), Akitainu, pp.244-249, published on 11/20/1969, Seibundo Shinkosha, Tokyo, Japan] caused Tamakumo to become a household word. At first Arawashi did not seem interested in breeding with Sankatsu. As they were about to give up in despair and leave, Arawashi suddenly began to pursue Sankatsu and mounted her. Mr. Ishihara took this opportunity to assist in this successful breeding. This was indeed a stroke of luck. 


        My mentor, the late Mr. Hyoemon Kyono, also thought highly of both Goromaru and Tamakumo-go while they were in their waka-inu (young dogs of 10 - 18 month) period. The Kongo line was at the height of it's popularity, and Tamakumo was placed in the Junyu (Good) class and ignored. Mr. Kyono, who was one of the leading figures of Nippo just prior to the war, was greatly disappointed and said "I do not like  Nippo's method of judging." At the Akikyo's Third Headquarters Show in December 1951, Tamakumo placed seventh, the last among the winning dogs. He became a reference dog at the later Akikyo shows. His gain in popularity was slow. However, with the coming of the famous female Kiyohime-go, the public's attitude changed. At the Akikyo's Sixth Headquarters Show, the female Kiyohime-go, competing against many male dogs, became the first bitch historically to win over all dogs in the headquarters show. Prior to this time she had been bred to Shoryu-go (Kongo x Tachibana) and had produced Dainikokuryu-go, Asashiyo and Akashi. The results were completely different when she was bred to Tamakumo. Mr. Kyono accompanied Mr. Tamejiro Ishibashi during this breeding to pick out a puppy in return for a stud fee. They picked a white female and sent it to the jeweler (Mr. Tadamoto). Unfortunately, this female died from distemper at 8 months. This dog was often compared with Tamakumo when they were exercised together and was said to be an excellent dog. At that time, Mr. Ishibashi acquired a brindle female called Kiyome-go (a littermate) which latter produced the famous Daiunme-go. 


        The breeding of Tamakumo to Kiyohime also produced the white males,  Hakuun and Tamakiyo-go, both of which were white male born in October, 1953. Both dogs placed high in the dog shows.


        Tamakumo's first offspring, Ikoma-go (a female brindle) was born in March 1953 and placed in the overall class Akikyo's Eighth Show. Since this was the height of popularity of the Kongo line, Tamakumo did not attract much attention. However,  toward the later part of the 1950s, more of the dog breeders in Tokyo began to use Tamakumo to produce some excellent dogs one after the other. This led to higher attendance at the dog shows. Goromaru's first son, Tanihibiki, and Tamakumo soon divided the Tokyo dog world into two groups. Using the Tamakumo and Tanihibiki lines became the trends at Akikyo. Tamakumo was shown at the Southern Akita Regional Show in 1954, and won first place in the overall class. At the Akiho’s Headquarters show he won first place and the Meiyosho. 


        Tamakumo was bred to Akemi-go which was the daughter of Fudo-go (Goromaru x Yohei) of Mr. Masutaro Ito of Senboku. Only females were produced in this breeding but they became the foundations dogs of Akiho such as Tamakiyo (dam of Azumazakura), Wakasa (Unjyo's dam), Tamarme (Hachiryu's dam) as well as Meigyoku-go, etc. 


        Tamakumo was not shown from this time on as a reference dog, although he continued to be used for breeding under the loving care of Mr. & Mrs. Tadamoto. He was last shown on November 23, 1955 at the large dog show that was sponsored by the Cultural Properties Preservation Committee. He was five years old then. With the passing of years he began to show some grayish white hairs on his face which increased his elegant features. His longevity almost matched that of his sire, Arawashi-go, and he lived for about thirteen years. Could this be attributed to the rigorous training during his earlier years? He was outstanding in that he differed from the Kongo line by having a tight body, the clearly distinguishable two layers of the bristle and soft coats and the proper body construction.  His bloodline contributed to the rapid progress of the Akita dog. However, this is not to say that all of his offspring were of excellent quality. His weak temperament and annoying bark cannot be denied. In the nest issue I plan to discuss Tamakumo’s bloodline.  


Aiken Journal, 272:64-66, (July) 1982, Shin-Journal-sha, Tokyo, Japan.
Translated by Tatsuo Kimura 6-24-99  All Rights Reserved 
(Note: Bold print and words in italics were added by the translator. TK)


Tamakumo (OR TAMGUMO) SERIES (2)
By Mutsuo Okada 


       Tamakumo's sire: Arawashi-go was discussed in the February issue of this journal. I will now discuss the bloodline of the dam: Sankatsu-go (Sansho-go).


She had a black brindle coat similar to that of Tamakumo. Photograph 1 was taken on May 1953, in front of the home of Mr. Katsumasa (Toei) Mio (Mitsuo). The effects of distemper are evident in her weak hips.  Sankatsu was raised in a house with the tatami (straw mats used in Japanese homes) removed. Mr. Mio was kind enough to take the dog out to the front of his house to allow me to take a photograph of the dog. She was shy. Taro-go, her littermate, was also a brindle. While in Akita, he was well-known as the Taro of Mr. “Kanzume” quotation marks were added by the translator) Takahashi. Taro was also shy and would hide and bark continuously at visitors. He eventually overcame his shyness by being raised in the house and went on to win at the Akikyo’s Fourth Headquarters Show. He went to the kennel of Mrs. Setsuko Horikawa in Tokyo later and also won the highest award at Nippo. Photograph 2 is that of Taro-go. He was a very large dog. 


         Please refer to the pedigree found in the previous issue of this journal. Araiwa-go is the sire of Taro and Sankatsu. Araiwa-go was placed in the Junyu (Good) class at the Akiho’s fourteenth Headquarters Show in 1950. Araiwa’s sire, Dainidewa, and dam Iwa-go, were both offspring of Raiden-go (Dewa x Tamahime. Therefore, as an inbred dog of the Dewa line, Araiwa was a large dog. His offspring, Taro-go, was also large. However, his trunk was somewhat flat-sided (slab-sided). This was also seen in Tamakumo-go and his offspring, especially the brindles.  

     In the show ring, Tamakumo-go was restless and barked whenever another dog approached and was very difficult to be photographed under such conditions. Many of Tamakumo’s offspring barked continuously with their tails down. It is not known whether this was due to their lack of intelligence. None of the dogs were like dogs from the Goromaru line, which stood well in the ring like a show dog and did not retreat from an approaching opponent. Their mannerisms were different and unsatisfactory, unlike dogs of the Goromaru line. An excellent black brindle coat often would have missing teeth and a deep stop. On the other hand, flatter foreheads were seen in the white dogs which resulted in some beautiful features. Akikyo fans in Tokyo were successful with bloodline of Tanihibiki (although which tended to have too strong a temperament at times) preserving the good points of each bloodline. 

      After producing Tamakumo, Sankatsu-go was bred to Teruzakura-go (Ichinoseki-goma x Tamazukura) to produce Teruisami (a red male) which had a different temperament from his sire. He was very docile. 


     Brindles in Tamakumo’s pedigree are Shintora of photograph 3, Dainidewa of photograph 4 and Araiwa of photograph 5. Sankatsu probably inherited her brindle coat from these dogs.  

     Shintora-go (Jugoro x Toshi) had a brindle coat of his first ancestral dog, Tochini-go and of Ichinoseki-tora-go. Shintora’s dam, Toshi, was also a brindle.  

     Shintora won the highest award at the Akiho’s Twelfth Headquarters Show immediately after the war. He was purchased by Mr. Kaneharu (or Shuji) Takarada of Osaka. Shintora’s ears were weak and did not stand until very late with much assistance.  

     Dainidewa-go (Raiden x Wakatorame) was from the Dewa line which was competing against the Ichinoseki line. He was widely used as a stud dog in the Odate area immediately after the war. He was purchased by Mr. Kenjiro Sawabe of the Tokyo’s Washington Pet Shop, and widely advertised by was not used much as a stud dog in Tokyo as expected.  

     In the First Akikyo Headquarters Show, first place went to Odate-go, second place went to Dainidewa-go, and third place to Kongo-go. Dainidewa would wag his tail and never stand properly in the show ring. Once when he was at the Nippo show, he was lined next to the famous small dog, Naka-go of the Akaishi-do kennel. Akaishi-go suddenly jumped on Dainidewa’s back. Dainidewa-go just stood motionless. If this had been Tanihibiki-go or Oryu-go, Naka-go would have been instantly knocked off and taken care of. In this instance, Naka-go’s alertness and aggressiveness was brought to the public’s attention, whereas the Akita dog fans certainly felt other than proud that day. Such bloodlines flowed in the littermates, Sankatsu and Taro. This was not limited to these two dogs. The prewar Nippo Bulletin has reported that many of the Akita dogs with droopy tails refused to enter the show ring, and this indicated the necessity of more improvements in the shy temperament many of the Akita dogs were needed. The sudden appearance of shyness is worrisome and, I believe, should be removed as soon as possible.  

     Tamakumo probably inherited his coat quality from his sire, Arawashi. When compared to those of his other ancestral dogs, the coat length of Tamakumo with the two layered bristle and soft coat was adequate. However, he produced many dogs with long coats. Joint angulations were probably toward the deeper side. Since the jeweler (Mr. Tadamoto) and his wife had no children, they showered much affection on Tamakumo, as if he was a child of their own. They brought Tamakumo into the living room to admire him.  

     At that time, many of the Johoku Branch members met at the home of the jeweler. Even Mr. Tamejiro Ishibashi stayed there during his younger days, whenever he was in Tokyo for more than a week.  

     At approximately ten years of age, Tamakumo began to reveal his old age, and his black brindle coat began to show some dark grey. His body began to appear smaller as if in retirement.  

     Tamakumo departed from this world about the same time as Mr. Tadamoto. In spite of a Junyu (Good) grade beginning in the Nippo show, Tamakumo was indeed a fortunate and a deserving Akita dog at the end due to affection and perseverance by the Tadamotos. 

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