I wrote "A Journey Beyond Shiba" over ten years ago as an
examination of the pedigrees of some shibas imported into
the USA. I have editted and rewritten the article.

I will be starting from the earliest history of shiba inu and
trace the origin of modern shiba-inu. I have also
incorporated my articles on the lineage study in this article.

I hope this review of shiba inu history will suggest that the
intrinsic qualities of SHIBA INU, run deeply in a close inter-
relationship between the Japanese people and the Japanese
dogs. So first, let us start a ten thousand years journey back
to the future by examining the earliest history of Japanese

Archeology and Anthropology: 

It is an archeological fact that the human ancestors
emigrated over a vast area of land. So did the Japanese
ancestors. It seems that they emigrated from Africa to
Mainland Asia and from Siberia and China to Japan. The
first archeological evidences of human ancestor in Japan
appeared over 500,000 years ago. The stone implements
used by Homo Erectus were found in the Miyagi Prefecture.
The stone implements of Homo Sapiens Neanderthalensis
(130,000 years ago) were found in the Hyogo Prefecture.
However, it is the evidences of Homo Sapiens Sapiens (40,
000 years ago) found in many parts of Japan that begin to
have some relevance to the shiba fanciers. Those Homo
Sapiens Sapiens may be the ancestors of Joumon people (12,
000 years ago) with whom the fossil evidences of the first
dogs in Japan are found. The fossil evidences of dog found
from the Joumon period (BC 10,000 - BC 300) varies
somewhat in size. Apparently the early Joumon dogs were
small about 36cm to 41cm without stop, in another words,
relatively flat from the forehead to the bridge of nose. The
Shibaho dogs are intentionally bred by Mr. Nakajo to
recapture the image of Joumon dogs. Mr. Nakajo was one of
the founders of Nippo but later split from Nippo and
founded Shibainu Hozonkai (Shibaho). As you can see from
the attached photo, Shibaho shibas have slight stop and a
slim body. The fossils of dogs found later in the Joumon
period are larger at 46cm to 50cm with moderate stop. In
1998, Dr. Nishimoto restored a Joumon dog from 3,000
years old fossils and found that the dog was 40cm high and
had similar characteristics to the present day shibas.

A Shibaho shiba

Just before the turn of the first millennium, it is estimated
that some several hundred thousand people from the Korean
Peninsula came to southern Japan during a few hundred-
year period. They brought with them the technology of
growing rice and most naturally some dogs. (Yayoi period is
approx. BC 300 - AD 300) Dr. Miyazaki of Museum of Yayoi
Culture in Osaka restored Yayoi dogs and found them to be
medium size dogs. There must have been frequent mixing of
blood between the indigenous Joumon dogs and the Yayoi

Several centuries of the tumulus period (approx. AD 300 -
AD 600) that followed was a period of great cultural
development in Japan. Among the earthen dolls called "
Haniwa" found in the ancient tombs are the dolls of dogs
similar to the modern day shibas. In 1982, a group of
Nagoya University and Gifu University researchers carried
out gene analysis of Japanese dogs and found that they are
genetically distinct from the Western dogs. Some had a
great genetic similarity to the Jindo dogs from the Southern
Korean Island.

Haniwa Doll Pariah  

Pariah dogs existed in a wide area of the Southeast Asia, the
Mainland Asia and even the North Africa in the pre-historic
ages. Pariah dogs seem to be the root of Dingos in Australia
and dogs of Sumatra and other indigenous dogs of Southeast
Asia. The general consensus on the root of Japanese dogs
seems to be that they immigrated to Japan with the people
coming from the Southern islands in the prehistoric time.
These small size dogs formed the base and later mixed with
large size dogs coming from the North (Siberia) and medium
size dogs coming from the Mainland Asia through the
Korean Peninsula. These medium size dogs may have been
the ancestors of Jindo dogs, Taiwan dogs and Ryukyu dogs.
The dogs from the Northern Asia might be the ancestors to
such modern established breeds as Alaskan Malamutes and
Siberian Huskies.

Written History:

The earliest records of small dogs similar to shibas appear
in the books written during the Heian period. (approx. AD
800 - AD 1200) Samurai ruled the period of the Kamakura
Shogunate (1190 - 1603) and use of dogs and hawks for
hunting was very popular. During the Edo period (1603 -
1866), many books on the hunting dogs were written. The
books mention small dogs similar to shibas and called them "
Taka inu" (Hawk dogs) used for hunting small animals and
birds. There are references to "Shika inu" (Deer dogs),
medium size dogs for hunting larger animals such as deer
and boars. There are some indications of planned breeding
as well.

The families of Samurai, whose duty was to maintain good
hunting dogs for the Shoguns, wrote these books. The books
were kept strictly confidential within the family and never
made public. The books were something like the standard of
hunting dogs and mention physical characteristics such as
body size, coat, tail, head etc. A book written by one Yoshida
Taemon in 1620 mentions that "sashi-o" (sickle tail) on
small, short hair dogs with stout muzzle makes best dogs for
easy training. It says that longer face dogs tend to have a
rough temperament. Nakata clan has series of several books
written by generations of Nakata families with very detailed
characteristics of good hunting dogs. Yet another book
written by Mizuno Denjiro in 1796 mentions that yellow
dogs makes best hunting dogs. It goes on to say that yellow
means the color of leaves in foliage just about to fall off a

Training a dog during Edo period

In 1687, the 5th Shogun Tsunayoshi issued a decree to
protect animals especially dogs from any kind of abuses. It
was fanatically enforced during his reign as far as to make it
a capital punishment for anyone who killed dogs. Influenced
by Buddhist teachings, the decree also prohibited raising
birds and fishes for human consumption. Tsunayoshi was
called the "Dog Lover Shogun". There is a popular
literature written by Kyokutei Bakin towards the end of
Edo period titled "Nanso Satomi Hakken Den" (A Story of
Eight Dogs from Satomi Clan of Nanso). It is a story of 15th
century warlord Satomi and a dog Yatsufusa who fell in love
with princess Fusehime. The above examples of the decree
issued by Shogun Tsunayoshi and popular literature by
Bakin indicate that dogs were a common part of life in
Japan during the Edo period.

After the fall of Tokugawa Shogunate in 1866, the new era
began in Japan with a great emphasis on modernization.
With the modernization came things western, including dogs
from Europe and other parts of the world. Although the
western type dogs call "Kara inu" were brought into Japan
from China and Korea as pets as far back as Nara and
Heian periods (about 700 AD - 1,200 AD), it was in a very
limited number and did not have any significant influence.
Western dogs were imported as hunting dog through the
trading post in Nagasaki by Dutch traders in the 18th
century. Oddly enough, Dutch physician P. F. von Siebold's
"Kari inu "(hunting dog) written in "Fauna Japonica" 150
years ago, as the indigenous dog of Japan, somewhat
resembles this western hunting dog. It was after the Meiji
Restoration (1867), the western dogs were imported in large
numbers. Within a short period of less than fifty years, cross
breeding of indigenous dogs with imported dogs widely
occurred and it was almost impossible to find indigenous
dogs in the cities by the early 1920's. It was in such
historical context, Dr. Saito and others began the movement
to preserve Japanese dogs.

We have leaped and bound the time for several millenniums
in short paragraphs. The reason for introducing the
archeological, anthropological and historical documentation
above is to give you a general knowledge of the back ground
from which the Japanese dogs originated and evolved.

An Early History of Modern Shiba:

On May 5, 1928 Dr. Hirokichi Saito and his group met to
establish Nihonken Hozonkai, (NIPPO), Association for
Preservation of the Japanese Dog. It all started when Dr.
Saito was unable to find a single indigenous dog after a long
search and realized that the Japanese dogs were in danger
of extinction. In those days, pure bred Japanese dogs were
non-existent in the cities. Early pioneers of Nippo traveled
far and wide in search of indigenous dogs in the
mountainous areas of Japan. Their intention was to preserve
the Japanese dogs as true to original form as possible by
seeking out those primitive hunting dogs still existed in the
remote areas and setting up a planned breeding program.
The academic circles supported the movement by carrying
out researches from historical,zoological, archeological and
anthropological perspectives. The first president of Nippo
was Dr. Kaburagi, a professor at the Tokyo University. In
1932, Nippo published its first newsletter and began
registering Japanese dogs. Nippo was recognized by the
Ministry of Education in 1937 and received a support of the
Japanese Government for preserving the Japanese heritage
and culture. It has since been active as the oldest and most
authoritative kennel club in Japan.

On November 6, 1932, the first Nippo Show was held in
Ginza, the central area of Tokyo. Out of eighty-one dogs
entered, only ten dogs were rated as having stock quality
and awarded "Commendation Award". Out of ten dogs,
four were Akitas, two were Hokkaidos, two were Kishus,
one was a medium size dog from Shinshu area and one was
Shiba Inu. The shiba was a red sesame male named "TAKO
". He was found in the mountainous area of the Toyama
Prefecture (Central Japan). Tako was the first shiba to be
registered by Nippo and since Tako, Nippo has maintained a
registration record of over a million and half shibas.

Dr. Saito found a red male hunting dog with sickle tail in the
deep mountains of the Gumma Prefecture in 1928. Dr. Saito
named him "JUKKOKU". Jukkoku was originally from the
other side of mountains in the Nagano Prefecture. The local
people there were calling these small hunting dogs "Shiba
Inu". There are several explanations on the origin of word "
shiba", however, from the Kanji (Japanese written
character) used for shiba-inu, I tend to think that the name
came from the fact that those hunting dogs maneuvered
through short brushes (shiba) well. Light brown dried
brushwood is generally called "shiba" and it is written with
a same Kanji for "shiba" inu. "Inu" means dog. Shiba coat
color blended well with the mountainside of Shinshu.
Jukkoku made the name "shiba inu" famous and many
fanciers visited the villages around the mountains of Nagano
to bring back "shiba inu" to the cities.

In 1933 at the 2nd Nippo Show, a male "YUWA" and a
female "YURI" from the Shimane Prefecture (San-In region
of Japan) received the Commendation Awards. They were
known as Sekishuken. At the 5th Nippo Show in 1936,
Sekishuken "ISHI GO" a red male born on November 2,
1930, registration number 170, received the Commendation
Award. Ishi was bred to "KORO" a black and tan bitch
from the mountains of Shikoku island and produced "AKA
GO, FUGOKU" on January 6, 1939. Aka Go received the
Commendation Award at the 8th Nippo Show and this
young dog was destined to be a very important stud. Aka
was bred to "HANA" from the Tottori Prefecture (San-In
region of Japan) to produce a bitch "BENIKO GO,
AKASHISOU". He was also bred to "MEIGETSU" from
the Yamanashi Prefecture (Shinshu region of Japan) to
produce a male "AKANI GO, HATAYAMASOU". Akani
and Beniko, half brother/ half sister, produced Naka Go on
April 16, 1948. Naka Go was bred to his mother Beniko Go
to produced NAKAICHI GO, AKASHISOU and from
Nakaichi Go came ICHI GO, which led to the Hakuba no
Gen line, and KOROICHI GO, which led to the Ichisuke
line, as well as BENIMARU GO, which led to Matsumaru
line. Naka Go also produced SENKOU GO, ARAKI
KENSHA, leading to Tenkou line.

Naka Go, Akashisou Ishi Go

Red, Male, Nippo: 1216 D.O.B: Apr. 16, 1948

  G.G.Sire: ISHI from SHIMANE Pref.
  G.G.Dam: KORO from SHIKOKU Is.


  G.G.Sire: ISHI from SHIMANE Pref
  G.G.Dam: KORO from SHIKOKU Is.

  G.Dam: HANA from TOTTORI Pref.

The shibas of early Nippo period were known as Ji-inu
(local dogs). We can see in the early documents local shibas
mentioned as Shinshu shiba, San-in shiba, Mino shiba,
Kawakami shiba, Jukkoku shiba, Sekishuken, etc. There
was a movement to preserve such dogs from various
localities as separate breeds. However, war, disease and
other factors diminished the small indigenous population,
causing a lack of sufficient gene pool to continue with the
breeding program. There are still a small number of San-in
shiba breeders endeavoring to maintain this local breed of
shibas but small gene pool is making the task next to
impossible. A few remaining shibas from different localities
were bred together to enhance the inherent qualities of
shibas. The modern shiba inu is therefore a mixture of small
dogs from different localities of Japan causing a slight
variation of types.

Nippo Standard and Essence of Shiba:

On September 15, 1934, after extensive researches and
discussions, "Standard of the Japanese Dog" was drafted by
the Standards Committee led by academic group of Dr.
Kaburagi, Dr. Itagaki, Dr. Kume, Dr. Saito and others. The
Standard was to be the future guideline common to all six
breeds of the Japanese dogs. Nippo web-site mentions the
purpose of the standard as follows. "The standard is
established (by Nippo), indicating a path to follow in future
breeding programs based on intrinsic characteristics of
Japanese dogs." Intrinsic characteristics of Japanese dogs
are stated as follows. "The nature of Japanese shibas can be
expressed in three very important words KAN-I, RYOUSEI,
and SOBOKU. These qualities are basic nature inborn to all
Japanese breeds and in totality, these qualities expresses the
essential characteristics of Japanese dogs."

The Japanese Government in 1936 designated Shiba Inu as "
Indigenous Animal of Japan and Natural Cultural Heritage
". The original intention of Nippo was to preserve those
indigenous hunting dogs that lived with Japanese people for
centuries. Early Nippo members went deep into remote area
of Japan to find dogs with the characteristics as close to the
standard as possible and started planned breeding
programs. Ironically, as soon as those dogs were brought in
to cities, "domestication" process started and cultural bias
of city life overwhelmed the breeding program. As shibas
became popular, ignorant breeders began to disregard the
standard and bred dogs according to their own preferences.
Some un-informed breeders did not understand the
intention of the Nippo pioneers and began mixing shiba with
such dogs as Mikawaken (a spitz like mix breed) and
medium size Japanese dogs, claiming that they are
improving the breed. In spite of such misguided practices in
the past, shiba has endured difficult times and I hope it will
continue to exist as close to the original form as possible.
The original shibas were kept by the hunters not for their
looks but for their ability to hunt. The Standard has taken in
the characteristics of these hunting dogs into consideration.
I must agree that shibas may change with time and
environment. I also agree that present day shibas are not the
same as those original hunting dogs. Shiba fanciers world
over should keep in mind the origin and history of these
dogs when breeding. I would like to quote a paragraph
from one of the most informative books on shibas in English
"The Complete Shiba Inu" by Maureen Atkinson since it
reflects my feelings so well.

"The Shiba has been part of the Japanese culture for
centuries. The Japanese have nurtured and loved the breed.
Their devotion to their Japanese Native Dog and his
characteristics is plain for all to see. These dogs are greatly
prized and guarded. We owe it to the Japanese people to
maintain and perpetuate their vision of what a Shiba should
be. It is all too easy to wonder from the path of what is
correct and of what constitutes perfection. We have good
foundations to work on and must go forward, adhering to
what is laid down in the Standard for the Breed. The
Japanese have a saying about special relationships. They say
'our hearts touched'. When you have a Shiba your hearts
will touch forever."

Shiba Inu Bloodlines:

The characteristic of what makes a shiba, SHIBA INU, run
deeply from the past and it is silently passed on to the
future. The lineage study is important to correctly
understand the bloodline of your shibas. There is very few
information on Shiba Inu bloodlines in English. I hope the
following will shed some light on shiba inu bloodlines. Shiba
Inu as an established breed is recognized only a few decades
ago. There are wide variations of type. Problems with
dentition, structure and coat color are frequent. The
breeders abroad should carefully study the lineage and
understand the genetic problems of the shibas he/she is
working with.

When a dominant stud is produced, it is common to in-breed
or line breed enhancing his desirable traits. This is why it is
possible to talk of shiba bloodlines having distinct
characteristics of certain dominant studs. The terms, in-
breeding, line breeding and out-crossing need an
explanation. There is a scientific criterion called inbreeding
coefficient to quantitatively distinguish the degree of genetic
relationship. However, for the purpose of this article, I
would simply define in-breeding as any occurrence of same
individual in first two generations of a pedigree such as
father/daughter, and brother/sister. Line breeding is any
occurrence of same individual up to fourth generations, such
as grandfather/granddaughter and uncle/niece. I think any
relationship beyond fourth generation do not have
significant impact on traits of bloodline to merit it as line
breeding. Out-crossing is no relationship between sire and
dam. There may be objections to such simplistic definition
but for sake of this article let us go on.

Mr. Mitsuharu Kanasashi, a Nippo judge and one of the
leaders of Nippo, analyzed the winners of Saikousho (Best
Shiba Award) in the Grand Nationals and concluded that
there are four predominant bloodlines in Japan. They are
the Hakuba no Gen line, the Korotama line, the Tenkou line
and the Matsumaru line. Several decades have passed since
Mr. Kanasashi made his analysis and I am sure there are
more new bloodlines established now. However, the basis of
all new bloodlines is found in the four predominant
bloodlines mentioned by Mr. Kanasashi.

The Gen line:

If I was asked to name one mainstream bloodline of Shiba
Inu in Japan, I must say that it is "the Gen line".


The Gen line originates from a stud named Hakuba no Gen
Go, Roukakusou. The lineage of Hakuba no Gen is traced
back to NAKA GO as follows;

HAKUBA NO GEN- Kojiro-Sumimaru-Ichi-Naka Ichi-

Hakuba no Gen is a product of father/daughter inbreeding
of Kojiro. Mr. Kanasashi says that most impressive
characteristic of Hakuba no Gen was his hair quality and
coat color. He said each string of hair, when inspected
closely, was indicative of the purity of bloodline. Hakuba no
Gen had a very good movement, well developed back skull,
tight muzzle and nicely shaped eyes but his body structure
and dentition had much to be desired. These characteristics
of Hakuba no Gen, both good and bad, has been carried on
even to the current Gen line shibas.

From Hakuba no Gen came Azumi no Hana. Azumi no Hana
produced many important studs such as Sakushugen, and
Masakado. This is why old timers sometimes call the Gen
line, "the Hana line".
A very significant mating took place in 1983, when
Sakushugen was out crossed to a black and tan daughter of
Kotetsu Go, Koutokusou, producing Tetsugen, the sire of
Tekka no Gen.

Tekka no Gen has a special place in the Gen line, and, in
fact, offspring of this magnificent stud have created a
dynasty of winning shibas. From Tekka no Gen came
Koutetsu Go, Yaguri Kusunoki Kensha, the sire of Kouryu
Go, Shimakazesou. Koutetsu Go and Kouryu Go are father
and son winning pair of the Nippo Grand National Show
back to back in 1993 and 1994. A list of winners in Japan
from this line is too long to mention. I had a daughter of
Kouryu, Shimakazesou named Tamasakurahime, Shikaisou.
Tamasakurahime is the grandmother of my stud Kazakoshi
no Sakura-ou. So the Gen line is an important part of my

What interest me most about Koutetsu Go is that his dam is
a daughter of Kyushu no Tetsuyuki Go, Kyushu Eto Kensha
who is a grandson of Kotetsu Go from Tenkou line. Also his
grandmother is a daughter of Sumeranishiki Go from
Matsumaru line. Kouryu's dam is a daughter of Tekka no
Gen and a product of a close line breeding. This pedigree
seems to prove my point about the success of Gen line
resulting from a skillful blending of other lines yet
maintaining the characteristics of Gen line by in-breeding.
It is an intentional mixture of intricate out-crossing and line
breedings that goes back for five to six generations.

Judge Araki made following critique of Kouryu in 1994
when he won the Prime Ministers Award (Best in Show) "
Kouryu has a wonderful facial expression, full cheeks
balancing well with excellent shaped ears. Thick, round
muzzle is perfectly matching with well-developed forehead.
Top line of the back is straight and strength is expressed all
the way to the tip of thick round tail. Body is well balanced
with all four legs having correct angles. Kouryu expressed
Kan-I and Soboku qualities in the ring with full of dignity."

   Tekka no Gen Go, Sanuki Mizumotosou Kouryu Go, Shimakazesou

Red Male, Nippo 4-10150, DOB: Feb. 15,1992


Another shiba that represents Gen line is Chisato Go,
Sanuki Mizumotosou. She is from a breeding between
grandson and granddaughter of Tetsugen. Chisato's sire
Koutaro of Kannabi Kensha is one of the sons of Tekka no
Gen. I owned a daughter of Koutaro, named Narumi Go,
Fuji Hachimansou. She was a beauty, winning several
Nippo Merit Awards.

Following is the critique of Chisato by Judge Morito. "
Chisato's facial expression is one of refinement and
strength. Ears are standing firmly and they are leaning at a
good angle. Eyes are shaped well with good color. Muzzle is
bit too thick for female but nicely round and firm. Body is
well balanced with excellent quality coat. Chisato has sharp
and keen senses, quick and nimble movements and above all
she was perfectly calm in the ring."

My concern about the off spring of Tekka no Gen is that
because this family of shibas has a very flashy showy quality,
some of them tend to lack a sober Soboku beauty desired in
all Japanese breeds. Color of some shibas from this line
might be considered too light and they tend to get white on
face much earlier than some other lines of shibas. This is
unfortunate because old records show that Hakuba no Gen
had a Soboku quality and one of desirable characteristics of
the Gen line is good color and good quality of coat. I feel
strongly that Soboku quality, "refined simplicity and sober
elegance" is a very important part of shiba inu. Also, some
of the Gen line shibas tend to have high ear placement. It
may be my personal preference but I like to see a good ear
pitch on a shiba. These facts should be carefully considered
when working with the Tekka no Gen/Tetsugen line.

To review the flow of bloodline, Kouryu Go goes back to
Hakuba no Gen as follows:

KOURYU - Koutetsu-Tekka no Gen-Tetsugen-Sakushugen-
Azumi no Hana -HAKUBA NO GEN

I wish to go back a few generations and review another flow
of the Gen line out of Masakado, another son of Azumi no
Hana. Masakado, bred to a bitch closely related to Kotetsu
Go, Koutokusou, produced Yoshikado Go. Yoshikado
produced Kadotsukasa and, Musashi no Shishi. Konishiki,
a grandson of Musashi no Shishi, is credited with starting
Mr. Watanabe's black and tan line from Koban Go.
Kurokinju Go, Hamamatsu Shunjuusou, a son of Koban,
won Best Opposite Sex at the 94th Grand National.

A note worthy thing about the pedigree of Koban, is that the
sire is a result of half brother/ half sister line breeding of
Konishiki while the dam is an out cross from the Kotetsu
bloodline. In discussing the Gen line, the name of Kotetsu
Go, Koutokusou appears again and again. It must be that
there is an excellent compatibility of the Gen line and the
Kotetsu line. Kotetsu Go, Koutokusou, a Tenkou line, is one
of the most significant black and tan stud and two times
Nippo Grand National winner at the 73rd and the 78th

Mr. Watanabe is my good friend. I bred my foundation
bitch, Kuroyuume Go, Yokohama Atsumi to the son of
Koban, Ryusei Go, Musashi Jinpuusou, and produced
Tenkuu Ryokuryume, Yokohama Atsumi, Tenkuu
Ryokuryume is the grandmother of my black and tan stud
Kazakoshi no Koryu, Yokohama Atsumi. This black and tan
line is another important part of my shibas.

  Kurokinju Go, Hamamatsu Shunjuusou

A flow of bloodline from Hakuba no Gen to Kurokinju is as

KUROKINJU - Koban - |Kotaro - Konishiki - Ishi -
Musashi no Shishi - Yoshikado - Masakado - Azumi no Hana

The Korotama line:

What I call the Ichisuke line is better known in Japan as the
Korotama line because the dam of Ichisuke is a daughter of
Korotama. Ichisuke's manifested desirable characteristics
are basically from Korotama.
Korotama is distinct from the others in that his root
originates in the shibas of Shikoku Islands. His dam Mari
came from the mountains of Shikoku. His sire Korokoma is
from the Kouchi-Mutsu line of shibas (from the Shikoku).
Korotama was a black and white dog (not black and tan) but
his other qualities overwhelmed his coat color defects and
were widely used as a stud. Korotama made a great impact
on main stream shibas from the Shinshu region. Some
noteworthy characteristics of this bloodline are beautiful
bright red coat, strong expression of deep-set eyes and above
all, intelligent and calm temperament. This line, as with all
the other bloodlines, has its own short falls. I believe there
are rooms to be improved on front and rear structures in
this bloodline. Dentition is also a problem with some closely
line bred off spring.

Ichisuke Go, Inoguchi

The lineage from Naka Go to Ichisuke is as follows:

NAKA GO - Nakaichi - Koroichi - Koro Ichi-Koronaka(b/t)
- Koroou - Momoichi - Ichiou - Ichioumaru - ICHISUKE.

Ichisuke bred two well-known studs, Hachisuke Go and
Kiyoichi Go. From Hachisuke came Jouji Go, Fussaen. Jouji
won 1st place Seiken Class twice at the G. National Shows
and produced many well-known studs. Beniryu Go,
Yamanashi Andousou is by far the most famous son of Jouji.
Beniryu Go is a winner of the Best Shiba Award at the 82nd
Nippo Grand National (1985). Beniryu bred Dairyu Go,
Honjo Arakisou, the Best Opposite Sex Shiba at the 86th
Grand National (1989) and Teraobana Go. Kyoto Terao, the
Best Shiba at the 89th Grand National (1992). One of my
foundation bitch Yuukihime Go, Tokyo Akatsukisou, is a
daughter of Beniryu Go. Yuukihime has produced many
wonderful shibas for me including Kuroyuume Go,
Yokohama Atsumi.

Beniryu Go Teraobana Go

Personally, I think Teraobana Go, Kyoto Terao, a daughter
of Beniryu, is one of the most beautiful female shiba I have
seen. She is the reason for me to look for direct offspring of
Beniryu as my foundation stocks. Judge Morikawa's
critique on Teraobana says, "Perfectly calm, very feminine
expression with Soboku quality. Well balanced body. Steps
could have been lighter."

Azuma no Jou is an example of a successful blending of
Ichisuke line with Gen line. His sire Jouichi of Tokyo
Akatsukisou is out of grandfather/ granddaughter breeding
of Jouji. Jouichi's dam is a full sister of my foundation dam
Yuukihime Go, Tokyo Akatsukisou. Dam of Azuma no Jou
is from son of Tetsugen and daughter of Dairyu.

    Azuma no Jou Go Toyonishiki Go

Judge Sato's critique on Azuma no Jou is as follows. "He has
exceptionally sharp and keen senses, having massive dignity
for a shiba. Ears are standing proudly, adding quality and
refinement to the expression. Deep, strong eyes with good
color. Coat is excellent. Muzzle could be stronger."

From Kiyoichi, another son of Ichisuke, came a line of
winning shibas of Toyonishiki. The pedigree of Toyonishiki
shows that he is not closely line bred to his paternal
bloodline and his relation to Ichisuke is not very strong.
However, he has retained many of the superior
characteristics of this bloodline. Toyonishiki has done well
as a stud and bred such well-known dogs as Daikokunishiki
and Iwashiro no Toyonishiki. My stud Fuku no Wakaichiro,
Oyama Watanabesou, is line bred to Iwashiro no

ICHISUKE-Kiyoichi-Takeichi-Tenryu Ichi-Takiryu-

The influence of parentage on a dog beyond fourth
generation may be negligible. However, I believe the
breeders of the dogs mentioned above have consciously used
inbreeding and line-breeding techniques to maintain the
characteristics which are considered superior in this

TOYONISHIKI of Toyohashi Onoda,
Nippo 2-34915, D.O.B. Sep. 18, '90

  G.G.Sire: Takiryu of Shinshu Takeiso
  G.Sire: Takimitsu of Noto Sekidoso
  G.G.Dam: Kosode of Kaga Sekidoso
Sire: Fukuryu of Enshu Kinryuso Nippo 60-39238
  G.G.Sire: Benimidori of Enshu Miyamaso
  G.Dam: Fukuhime of Enshu Kinryuso
  G.G.Dam: Fukume of Bushu Koujinso

  G.G.Sire: Shinshu Benimidori of Suzuranso
  G.Sire: Shinshu Terumidori of Suzuranso
  G.G.Dam: Suzumidori of Suzuranso
Dam: Hama no Toyohime of Toyohashi OnodaNippo 62-
  G.G.Sire: Gakuryu of Muji Yamadaso
  G.Dam: Benihime of Toyohashi Onoda
  G.G.Dam: Benisuzuhime of Tetsuzanso

  Tetsu-Arashi Go, Honjou Arakisou

I wish to introduce Tetsu Arashi Go, Honjo Arakiso as one
of important Beniryu line stud. He won 1st place Souken,
Sect. A Calss, at the G. National. His son, Tetsunishiki was
the Prime Minister's Award winner at the 100th Nippo
Grand National. The off spring of Tetsunishiki is doing very
well at the shows. The lineage of Tetsu Arashi is as follows.

ICHISUKE-Hachisuke-Jouji-Beniryu-Beni Ichi-Ichi Tetsu-

I fell in love with this stud and bred my Kuroyuume to
produce Tenkuu no Tetsu, Yokohama Atsumi among others.
I hope to carry on this valuable bloodline nurtured by
generations of breeders trying to maintain the superior
characteristics of the Ichisuke line.

The Matsumaru Line:
Matsumaru line has played a very important part in the
history of modern shibas, not as a most successful bloodline
but as a compatible out-cross for Gen line and Ichisuke line.
Breeders of the major bloodlines often used Matsumaru line
bitches to improve body structure and color. Bitches out of
Hidemidori Go, Noto Sekidousou, are known to have been
frequently used by Mr. Mizumoto, one of the successful Gen
line breeders. I would describe Matsumaru Go as a red
sesame dog having sharp spirited boldness. Current studs of
Matsumaru line have good size head with good ear pitch and
strong body. Matsumaru's spirited temperament a strong
Kan-I quality continues in this bloodline.

Matsumaru Go

Matsumaru goes back to Naka Go on the sire side as follows:

MATSUMARU - Beniyuki - Beniryu - Benimaru - Nakaichi

Sumeranishiki Go, Hadano Kawaguchisou is perhaps the
most influential stud of the Matsumaru line. Sumeranishiki
is a foundation stud of Mr. Suzuki of Fujinomiya Kensha.
Sumeranishiki is closely line bred to Matsumaru on both
sire and dam sides. Sumeranishiki produced the Nippo
Grand National Show winner, Beniougi Go, Fujinomiya
Kensha. Tominishiki Go, Fugaku Sasaharasou, a son of
Sumeranishiki, is a very important stud of the Matsumaru

Another line out of Matsumaru comes from his son
Tatsumaki Go, Misonosou. Mr. Nishimura of Kyoto Daigo
Kensha uses Matsumaru line extensively in his breeding
program. Riki-ou Go, Meikensou, a foundation stud of this
kennel is a great grandson of Matsuamru from his dam side.
Riki-ou's sire is Rikisakura Go, Fujinomiya Kensha.
Another one of his foundation studs, Tamana no Tetsu Go,
Sankensou is a son of Tetsu Go, Takatsuki Yadasou, an old
stud I like very much. Tetsu is a grandson of Tatsumaki.
Mr. Nishimura's foundation studs are Tenjinmaru of Kyoto
Daigo Kensha and Yamashiro no Ryuko of Kyoto Daigo
Kensha. Tenjinmaru is closely line bred to Riki-ou.
Yamashiro no Ryuko is a grandson of Tenjinmaru and line
bred to Tamana no Tetsu on both sire and dam sides.

    Yamashiro no Ryuko Go Seiryu no Shou-un Go

Seiryu no Shou-un of Moriya Kosugasou,
Nippo 2-26668,

  G.Sire:Sumeranishiki Go, Hadano Kawaguchisou
Sire:Tominishiki Go, Fugaku Sasaharasou
  G.Dam:Yoshikikuhime Go, Oshima Yasudasou

  G.Sire:Tone no Gen Go, Tone Hakusansou
Dam:Hakusan no Yoshika Go, Toride Higakisou
  G.Dam:Kiyofusahime Go, Toride Shigetasou

Yamashiro no Ryuko Go, Kyoto Daigo Kensha,
Nippo 9-34194

  G.Sire:Tenjinmaru of Kyoto Daigo Kensha
Sire: Ryuko of Kyoto Daigo Kensha
  G.Dam Chiharu of Hakkei Mizutanisou (sire:Tamana no Tetsu)

  G.Sire:Matsumaru of Kyoto Daigo Kensha(sire:Tenjinmaru)
Dam:Yuri of Kyoto Daigo Kensha
  G.Dam:Tetsuyuri of Kyoto Daigo Kensha(sire Tamana no Tetsu)

I mentioned that Mr. Mizumoto used Matsumaru line in his
breeding program of Gen line. I must also mention that Mr.
Araki of Honjo Arakisou successfully used Matsumaru line
bitches, in his breeding program. Beniryu Go, Yamanashi
Andosou, was mated to Honjo Yukihime Go, Honjo
Arakisou, a Matsumaru line bitch. This pair produced the
Nippo Grand National winner, Dairyu Go, Honjo Arakisou.
Although the current Matsumaru line shibas are successful
in their own merits, I think that its value may be
appreciated more as a source of out-cross for both Gen line
and Ichisuke line.

The Tenkou line:

I understand that Tenkou's coat color was dark red and not
very good. Angles on his forelegs were not very good either.
He, however, had Kan-I a distinct expression of mental
strength. Tenkou is a grandson of Korotama from dam side
which makes this bloodline very interesting. The breeders of
other lines have often used Tenkou line as an out cross. For
example, a famous Gen line stud, Tekka no Gen of Sanuki
Mizumotosou, who started a dynasty of Grand National
winners is a son of Tetsugen, whose mother is a closely in-
bred daughter of Kotetsu Go, Koutrokusou.

Tenkou Go

Well known shibas out of Tenkou line are Kyushu no
Jakume Go, Kyushu Eto Kenhsa, the Best in Show at the
84th Grand National (1987) and two times Grand National
winner Kotestu Go, Koutokusou, the Best in Show at the
73rd Grand National and the Best Shiba at the 78th Grand
National. I have not heard much about the direct off spring
of Tenkou line recently. Unfortunately, the Tenkou line has
lost its importance as a distinct bloodline and vanished in
the shiba history.

On the future of Shiba bloodlines:

Naturally, over sixty years of the development of modern
shiba inu, there were much out-crossing between the
bloodlines and through carefully planned breeding,
desirable traits were retained, enhanced and made even
better. In-breeding and line breeding were used to magnify
and stabilize (homogenize) desirable qualities. Out-crossing
increases the gene pool and when genes were compatible, it
resulted in manifesting desirable traits of both bloodlines.

The diversity of different lines and intricate inter-
relationship of these lines have made it increasingly difficult
to classify the current shibas simply into one bloodline or
the other. Most breeders tend to drift from one champion to
the other in their breeding program, which seem to lead
them into a labyrinth of shiba breeding. Champion dogs are
not necessarily good studs and it is more important to study
compatibility of a bitch with the selected stud. I do not want
these studies of bloodlines to be just academic.

I suppose breeders of all four bloodlines endeavored to
produce "ideal" shiba but when one studies the results of
shows in Japan, it seems the breeders of Gen line were most
successful. One of the reasons for the success is a skillful
blending of other bloodlines into the base qualities of Gen

I am very happy to observe that increasing number of
imports from Japan has positively contributed to the gene
pool of shibas in the US and Europe. In my opinion, the
quality of shibas abroad has improved dramatically. I must
add that it is not my intention to give an impression to the
readers that imports are superior or that Nippo pedigree
implies more than what it is worth. There are always good
imports and bad imports with or without Nippo pedigree.
Few are good producers and most are not. Therefore, it is
important to understand the standard of shiba (phenotype)
well and correctly analyze the pedigree (genotype) for
breeding better shibas. All breeders must be extra selective
and should make an in-depth research before using any
import, or any stud for that matter, since it may add genetic
variation which could adversely affect your bloodline for
many generations to come.

I have journeyed through the history of shiba inu from the
archeological time to the development of modern shiba inu
and finally to the indication for the future of shiba inu in the
bloodlines currently available for breeders world around to
work with. It is the responsibility of individual breeders to
decide the future of shiba inu. Mr. Watanabe of Sagami
Murasakisou said, " Breeders could make or break the
Breed." It is a very heavy responsibility.


The theme I wanted to convey in this article was the
importance of maintaining the essence of shiba may it be in
the USA, Europe or anywhere in the world. D.H. Lawrence
in his "Fantasia of the Unconscious" expressed the
continuity of "blood-stream" in the following paragraph:
"And there it is a hard physiological fact. At the moment of
our conception, the father nucleus fuses with the mother
nucleus, and the wonder emanates, the new self, the new
soul, the new individual cell. But in the new individual cell
the father-germ and the mother-germ do not relinquish
their identity. There they remain still, incorporated and
never extinguished. And so, the blood-stream of race is one
stream, forever."

So, I believe, is the blood-stream of shibas, "incorporated"
from the past and "never extinguished" far into the future
as long as the essence of shibas is retained by the new
generations. It is in such never ending blood stream of a
breed called Shiba-Inu, I find the greatest fascination and

Having established the fact that the blood stream is never
ending, one must be sensible and draw a line as to how far
back we should look in to the origin of shibas. I believe the
indigenous hunting dogs with which the founding members
of Nippo established the breeding program seventy years
ago should be regarded as the origin of Modern Shiba Inu.

Any pure breeds do change with time and environment as
well as changes in what is fashionable at the time. However,
as long as the shiba inu fanciers around the world retain a
firm guideline to which we can go back to as a root, there
will be a continuation of shibas as a pure breed for many
years. My contention is that we should seek the root of
modern shibas in the indigenous hunting dogs of the early
Nippo days since the Standard was made according to the
result of extensive researches of these dogs. The photos of
Ishi Go and Naka Go, seem to me have Kan-i and Soboku
qualities and we are told that these dogs had Ryousei quality
as well. The ideal shibas, the total shibas and the complete
shibas are all in the Standard of Shiba Inu as established by
the pioneers of Nippo.

I welcome any questions or comments from the readers and
together I hope we shall continue the never-ending journey
of producing the "ideal" shiba.