Nippo Exhibition Oita 2014
  • IliumIlium
    Posts: 66
    Hi guys. Hopefully I'm posting this in the right place. It's been a while since my introduction thread and I guess this is my first "real" thread. If I make any mistakes, I apologize ahead of time.

    As some of you might know, I live out in Oita prefecture of Japan. Today a friend and I drove out to the Nippo Exhibition in Oita city (titular and capital city of the prefecture) to see the Nippo show. Specifically, I was hoping to get a look at the shikoku ken and kai ken, but knowing how rare they are I knew it was mostly a matter of luck. It took about two hours or so for us to get there, but the traffic wasn't too bad and luckily the GPS cooperated really well today (sometimes it's questionable). We weren't entirely sure what to expect when we got there, but it was a beautiful day weather wise (cool but very sunny) and I'm really glad we went. I thought I'd share pictures and talk about the experience a little. Hopefully it's not too boring.

    We stood out a bit like sore thumbs when we got there, which I'd expected would happen, but always makes me a little nervous. We were the only foreigners, and also the youngest set of adults there, plus girls to boot. Aside from a few young kids that came with family members and a few older women, virtually all of the people at the event were older Japanese gentlemen (which I think is pretty much in line with things Shigeru has said in the past about the general makeup of the Nihonken fanciers). People seemed pretty curious but were very polite and made an effort to come and talk with us in Japanese, and the organizers were super kind. We'd brought our own lunch but they offered to feed us anyway. (Japanese hospitality simply cannot be beat.) It seemed like a lot of people knew each other, and the event itself was in a small, kind of secluded portion of the park, which seemed good for the dogs and gave the event a kind of small, homey feel to it. Much different than my perception of dog shows (I guess at this point it would be good to add that I've never been to a dog show in-person before, I've only ever seen the huge national ones on TV before).

    The vast majority of the dogs shown were shiba inu, which isn't too surprising, given the dogs' popularity for their sizes and the rarity of the other breeds. Of the shibas, only two were black and tan, and there were only a couple that I thought were maybe red-sesames (I'm still not a very good judge of coat color). Most of them seemed to be red, which kind of surprised me; I hadn't realized it was such a popular color (I prefer sesames and the black and tan ones myself). Unfortunately there were no kai ken at the event today, which was a small bummer. I was really afraid that there might be no shikoku ken, either, which was my *super* main goal, but I got very lucky and there were not one but two at the event. :) So even though I didn't get to meet any kai ken, at least I got to see the dog I was there for the most. Additionally, there was a white dog that was very friendly and pretty, but silly me, I assumed it was a hokkaido ken and forgot to ask the owner even though I did to think to ask about her name. (Maybe if I post a picture someone can help me figure out which it was?)

    In the morning the dogs were weighed and measured before the actual events started. The events themselves went by very quickly, most after the thirty-minute lunch break. All of the shiba puppies were put in the pens first for judging, and then the young shiba males and females were judged separately in the rings. After that the more mature shibas competed, and the shikoku ken were added to the mature dogs because I guess there just weren't enough large dogs for them to compete against otherwise. (Strangely, the white dog didn't seem to enter for competition, and I wasn't sure if it was because of her age, as she was only 9 months, or if it was because there were no competitors for her, or what.) Everything was over by 1 PM, which was about an hour faster than we'd expected it to conclude, but still worth it. I'm really lucky that my friend, who has a car, wanted to go, because the event was waaaayy out in a spot that would have been hard for me to get to otherwise (I would have needed a taxi and that would have cost a fortune!).

    Anyway, now let's have some pictures because that's less boring, right? I apologize for the poor quality of the pics. I'm kind of a poor photographer and I forgot the good camera at home, so I had to make do with my iPad.
    image
    The sign at the front that let us know we were in the right place.

    image
    image

    Shiba pups! So many shiba pups. I had more video of them being rambunctious, but I accidentally shot it all upside down and haven't been able to figure out how to fix it yet. I also neglected, in all the excitement, to get shots of the winners or the black and tan dogs. Whups...

    image
    image
    This is the mystery white dog! Hokkaido ken? Kishi ken? I feel like maybe her coat's not thick enough to be hokkaido ken, but I really am not familiar enough with the breed to be certain. She was only 9 months old, technically still a puppy, but she seemed very sweet and outgoing. My friend and I were both pretty charmed by her temperament and looks (though I can only imagine how long it must take to clean up a pure white dog for an event like this!).

    image
    image
    image
    image
    I took a ton of pictures of the two shikoku ken that were there. I just love their coat colors. These two are brother and sister, the girl being the older. These two were not quite as eager to come greet us as the white dog or one of the shiba puppies we met, but they also were not dog or people reactive and generally seemed pretty chill. I have to be honest, as much as I was endeared by the white dog's personality, I fell in love all over again with how beautiful these dogs are. And they're somehow so much different in person than they are when viewed on camera, it's kind of difficult to explain, but I guess it's to do with how they carry themselves/their build, since (almost) all the nihonken have a similar kind of shape (the sickle or bun tail, the forward pricked ears, urajiro). I really can't wait until I get see some more and hopefully interact with them in a more substantial way than just standing nearby.

    ...Oh, yes, a small conclusion bonus that has nothing to do with dogs.
    image
    It's probably a little hard to make out, but that's a crab crawling up the tree we parked by. The park was incredibly close to the bay (most of the major cities in Oita prefecture are) and you can find these little guys in the oddest of places...

    Anyway, thanks for reading. :)
  • That white dog is a kishu ken :) what a fun day you had and so many dogs to see! Kai ken are rarely shown in NIPPO- they have their own registry, which is why you didnt see any. The KAi Ken Aigokai maintains the breed standard has its own shows- two seasonal ones Spring and Fall.

    This kinda gives me some perspective though that even in Japan, only 2 shikoku and 1 Kishu show up for a NIPPO show...
  • CrispyCrispy
    Posts: 1820
    Yep! The white dog is a silly Kishu! Looks like Fionna's future.

    I must say, though, I did absolutely nothing for my Kishu when we went to our show and they were literally rolling around in the dirt up to a few minutes before the match... the coats are really "self-cleaning" to a degree. I imagine a nice brushing will do the trick and make a dog look clean again.

    Thank you for sharing!
    Akiyama no Roushya || 秋山の狼室 || www.kishu-ken.org
    Post edited by Crispy at 2014-09-28 07:43:45
  • IliumIlium
    Posts: 66
    @WrylyBrindle
    IThat's what I thought I'd read and told my friend (about the kai ken). Glad to know I wasn't mis-remembering. I guess I should check out to see if there's any possibility of getting out to a kai show. Unless Shigeru has kai or knows someone near him who has kai, it sounds like it would be my best shot to meet one.

    @Crispy
    Really? I never would have guessed it would be that simple, at least not hearing about how much work it took for my friend to get a white horse prepped for a show when she was younger. I was shocked by how coarse the coats felt; for some reason I had always imagined they'd be softer. (Not that it was unpleasant, they just look like such fluffballs!)
  • CrispyCrispy
    Posts: 1820
    Haha, it doesn't seem like it would be that easy, but I guess that coarse coat keeps them easy to maintain. One thing I will say is that loose dirt DOES get trapped in the undercoat. In these pictures, she is quite dusty and dirty (both), but once all the heavy dirty drops off the coat, you don't notice so much.

    Here's my puppy being muddy...
    image

    And then, a couple days later after the mud was dried and flaked off...
    image

    My other Kishu is a sesame, so you don't notice how dirty she gets quite as much.
    Akiyama no Roushya || 秋山の狼室 || www.kishu-ken.org
  • Looks like everyone had a fun day. Shigeru's Kishu Baron and my kishu Taro are both from Oita prefecture. My goal is to go out there one day to visit friends.
    Gen, Ami, Kaylynn, Trinity, Yusuke......Riki, Hana, Sammi, Taro, and the newest addition Koyuki.
  • IliumIlium
    Posts: 66
    @Crispy
    Look at all that mud!! Such a happy puppy. I'm curious, do you have any pictures of your sesame kishu? I've seen some pictures of sesame kishu but only as veeeery little puppies, so I'm really curious to know what they look like when they mature more fully.

    @shishiinu
    There's a lot of really lovely places in the prefecture if you do get to come and visit. Particularly in you enjoy onsen. I had no idea that both your kishu and Shigeru's came from Oita though. That's kind of cool. Is Oita producing good lines of kishu then?
  • I now have three white Akitas (counting my AA) and its actually not all that hard to keep them clean, and clean them for a show. Mud and dirt, once it dries, just flakes right off the coat. We get little dusty "shadows" where our dogs were lying or shook themselves - glad we have hardwood floors! A bath before the show takes care of the rest. Probably the hardest part (on any of my dogs) is getting the ears really really pink and clean. They're like little buckets for dirt and gunk.

    That said... NIPPO judges don't like heavily groomed or artificial (unnatural) dogs. The judge who came to the NIPPO Classic two weekends ago told almost every single Shiba owner his dog's coat was too soft or too shiny and had used too much shampoo. He asked when Kyuubi had been bathed last, and when told it was the day before the show, he admonished not to bathe within FOUR WEEKS before the show! He said don't worry, they are clean dogs and wont smell bad.
    「怪獣荘秋田犬」Kaiju Kennels Japanese Akita and Hokkaido, Claire Matthews
    http://www.facebook.com/PoetikDragon
    http://www.facebook.com/KaijuKennels
    http://www.kaijukennels.com
  • IliumIlium
    Posts: 66
    @PoetikDragon
    Wow! That's such a big difference between western show styles isn't it? At least, common sense would have told me to bathe them very recently. I kind of like the idea of letting the dogs be more natural, anyway...

    Out of curiosity, how do your akitas handle ear cleaning? Growing up we had a collie who really hated having her ears messed with, so it was difficult to keep clean, and I was never certain if it was a breed thing or an individual trait, as our lab didn't care nearly so much. (Her ears were prone to infection so it was kind of an issue.)
  • My dogs do alright with the ear cleaning. We start with all kinds of handling and manipulation of the ears, paws, teeth, tail, genitals, etc from as soon as we get them - from the day they're born in the case of my pups I raised. There's nothing I can't touch or do with them, at least when it comes to the ones we got as puppies.

    Ghidora has the biggest ears, and the most prone for gak to build up in them. He is super tolerant of the major ear cleanings we have to do every once in a while - I think he enjoys it to some extent, leaning in to us while we work on it. After a while I think he decides he's bored with it and had enough and gets restless, but still waits till we're through and release him.
    「怪獣荘秋田犬」Kaiju Kennels Japanese Akita and Hokkaido, Claire Matthews
    http://www.facebook.com/PoetikDragon
    http://www.facebook.com/KaijuKennels
    http://www.kaijukennels.com
  • WhoBitMeWhoBitMe
    Posts: 1920
    I agree with @Crispy and @PoetikDragon with the cleaning of white coats in that I haven't found it to be an issue. I've been on hikes with my white Hokkaido where he'll roll around in the mud and almost literally, within maybe ten minutes, it's almost all fallen off. The only issue I have is a black buckle on one of his collars that's stained the fur on the front of his neck. ;) Otherwise he is a remarkably clean dog. I actually haven't had to give him a real bath yet (he's over a year and a half). He's only needed occasional spot cleanings.
    1 Human + 1 Hokkaido
    RIP Amy (Border Collie)

    “Anyone can love a thing because. That's as easy as putting a penny in your pocket.
    But to love something despite. To know the flaws and love them too. That is rare and pure and perfect.”
    --Patrick Rothfuss, A Wise Man's Fear

    "Life before death. Strength before weakness. Journey before destination."
    --Brandon Sanderson, the First Ideal from The Stormlight Archive.
  • IliumIlium
    Posts: 66
    @WhoBitMe @PoetikDragon
    Great to know, thanks!
  • Shigeru and I have a mutual friend who has some of the best hunting kishus in Japan. When out friend had pups we were both able to get one of them. Oita is one of the boar hunting hot spots so there's a lot of hunting dogs there.
    Gen, Ami, Kaylynn, Trinity, Yusuke......Riki, Hana, Sammi, Taro, and the newest addition Koyuki.
  • IliumIlium
    Posts: 66
    @shishiinu
    I definitely knew that we have boar out here (my friend's school has a boar on display in it and has seen boar traveling the road that leads to one of her schools) plus there's some places that sell wild boar meat in town, but I didn't really stop to think that boar hunting must be a thing out here. That's pretty awesome.

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

In this Discussion