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Thursday, 28 July 2011


The Akita is a powerful and muscular breed of working dog. In most countries (with the exception of the Australian, American and Canadian Kennel Clubs), there are considered to be two breeds, the American Akita and the Akita Inu. "Inu" means "dog."

The modern breed of Akita originated in the mountains of northern Japan about 300 years ago. It was originally bred as a fighting dog, it later was used to hunt deer, wild boar, and black bears.

The Akita Inu was designated a national treasure by the Japanese government in 1931. It is regarded as protectors of the home, loyal companions, and a symbol of good health and happiness.

A huge statue of an Akita was erected in the Shibuya Station, Tokyo, in 1934 to commemorate a faithful dog called Hachiko. The loyal pet appeared daily to greet his master as he returned from work, a practice which continued even 10 years after the master died.

The first Akita to be introduced to the United States was a dog named Kamikaze-go, who was given to Helen Keller as a gift after she visited the prefecture of Akita in Japan in 1937.

In Japan, the Akita symbolizes good health, happiness, and longevity, so the Japanese gift statues of the dog as "Get Well Soon" tokens.

The Japanese give statues of Akita Inus as presents to new parents upon the birth of their child.

Source Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia © 1998

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