Kennel Caccia

Two Main Akita Lines - 2

Two main Akita lines

Akita-Inu = Akita Dog

The Japanese refer to the Akita as their
ICHIBAN ... Number One
and speak of him affectionately as being
tender in heart and strong in strength
- the dog that begins where others leave off.

Photo from The complete Akita
Japanese Grand Champion
- a female Meiyosho winner

The MEIYOSHO, the highest award that can be attained by an Akita in Japan, is awarded to dogs and bitches at Headquarters-sponsored shows. Only dogs and bitches who have achieved the TOKUYU rating qualify.

TOKUYU - Superior (awarded to Senior Dogs and Bitches only)

These dogs are considered to have extra special qualities. A MEIYOSHO winner is not merely the top winning dog of a particular Headquarters show. As the Akita is judged according to an absolute Standard, a given show may produce a MEIYOSHO winner, may not produce a winner, or it may produce more than one winner.

Therefore, these winners may be considered the Grand Champions of AKIHO shows. A MEIYOSHO winner can never compete again, only be exhibited.

In 1927, Mr. Shigeie (Mokke) Izumi, the mayor of Odate, capital of the Akita Prefecture, set up the Akita Inu Hozonkai (AKIHO) for the purpose of perpetuating true Akita dogs and in 1931 the breed was officially named along with six other Japanese breeds. The Akita Inu, as it was named, was declared a natural monument.

Two main Akita lines

Many famous old time Akitas stem from the ICHINOSEKI line which still flows through the blood of today's Alkita dogs. Ichinoseki Goma-Go, call name Tsubaki Goma, was an aka goma (red sesame) coloured male, he stood 27,5 inches tall. He was an imposing animal despite his weak rear and looseness of body. When bred to Futatsui Goma-Go (Matagi line) they produced the famous Goromaru-Go, regarded by many as the most important dog in the effort to bring the breed up to the Akita Standard after the ravages of World War II.

GOROMARU-GO and his three littermates were born January 8, 1948. Mr. Susumu Funakoshi bought Goromaru and recalls he was a precocious red and white pinto puppy with a large head, longer than average coat and rather small, deep set triangular shaped eyes. The excellent quality of Goromaru offspring down through the years brought fame to this dog. When bred to the Ohira line of Akitas, e.g. Chimpei-Go and Shiro Shiromaru-Go, the results were spectacular, despite warnings from breeders who claimed the country-bred pinto would reproduce his colour, not in favour at that time, and throw long coats known as "Moku".

The DEWA line existed at the same time as the Ichinoseki line. It derived its name from the black tip male DEWA-GO who was born February 1, 1941. It is said the ancestral dog behind him was Tachi-Go aka "Yari". The most famous of Akita ancestors in Japan was Dewa-Go's Great Grandson KONGO-GO. He was considered the ultimate prototype of the Dewa line. The kurogoma colour (black sesame) dominated the Dewa line and was genetically very powerful. It held for generations. Kongo-Go was owned by Mr. Heihacki Hashimoto.

Although high awards were given Kongo-Go and his son Japanese Grand Champion KINCHO-GO during the time breeders were trying to restore the Akita dog to what it had been in the past, the Dewa line declined by degrees. One would be hard-pressed to find its phenotype in Japan today. The descendants of Kongo-Go became the foundation stock of American breeders in the mid-1950,s. According to one Japanese judge, the greatest difference between Japanese- and American-bred Akitas is that the latter still show much evidence of the Dewa strain.

According to the late Mr. Naoei Sato, the Akita dogs of the Dewa line were noted for their large stately build and gentle temperament as houshold dogs, and yet were firm in their stand when necessary. However, the Dewa line soon began to lose its value as a representative of the Akita dog breed with the appearance of looseness of skin under the throat, loose baggy lips and other features which led to a departure from the Japanese dog image.

Much of the historically famous foundation stock was produced between 1948 and 1950. Ichinoseki and Dewa emerged as the two main breed lines. The son of Japanese Grand Champion Kincho-Go, Japanese Grand Champion KINSHO-GO, was the result of a combination between these two lines as Gomaru-Go was his Great Grandfather (maternal). Dogs bred from them made their way to the United States in the 1950s and 1960s when servicemen stationed in Japan after the war brought the Akita stateside.

The Akita Club of America was founded in 1956. Several Japanese standards were incorporated into its standard for the breed. In 1973, the breed was accepted into the American Kennel Club's Working Group. In 1996, the Akita ranked 35th among the 143 breeds the AKC registered, with 11,161 dogs listed.

Part of the text and photos have been compiled from the book,
The complete Akita, by Joan M Linderman and Virginia Funk.

The Ichinoseki line

and his daughter

Sakusaku's Tiger Lily
(ex Japanese Gr. CH Haruhime)

Sakusaku's Domino-Go
at three months.
When he matured he was
first Group placing Akita in Hawaii.

The Dewa line

and his son ...

Japanese Grand Champion

and his son ...


Compiled by Katja Sj÷berg 2003-2007