Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The noble Akita...

Akitas are interesting dogs. The neighbor has got one and it often fills the night with its deep, forlorn howl. It's actually quite beautiful as it echoes through the canyons. Remember the OJ Simpson fiasco? It was the "low plaintive wail" of an Akita that opened the curtain to that melodrama. In Japan, small statues of the Akita are often sent to ill people to express a wish for their speedy recovery, and to parents of newborn children to symbolize health. The first Akita was brought to the USA by Helen Keller. American servicemen also brought Akitas to the US after World War II. I'm told that these dogs are the national symbol of Japan (like our eagle). Japanese mythology says that one faithful Akita waited still as a statue for seven years at his master's front door, waiting for him to return home from work (apparently the master had died on the job). This loyalty and steadfast virtue is of course the perfect symbol for Japanese identity. I like how they sneak "dying on the job" in there too. How Japanese can you get?


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