Very rarely are Americans able to see all six native breeds that have been given the Japanese government’s Tennen Kinen Butsu (Natural Monument) title in one place in the U.S.
Southern Californians are in luck as the Japanese Akita Club of America (JACA) and the Akita Inu Hozonkai (AKIHO) North America Branch will host their conformation shows at Arthur Lee Johnson Memorial Park, 1200 W. 170th St. in Gardena, next month.
The fifth annual JACA United Kennel Club Nihon Ken Invitational (NKI) will be held on Saturday, Feb. 9. Judging begins at 9 a.m., and the duration of the show depends on the number of entries. The UKC judges for the event are Kevin Izard-Caroll and Jean Herring-Murray.
The idea for the show was inspired by the website Nihon Ken Forum, which brought together owners of Akita Inu (also called Japanese Akita), Kai Ken, Kishu Ken, Hokkaido Inu, Shikoku Ken and Shiba Inu from all over the world to discuss their breeds. As a gesture of friendship, the show is also open to pedigreed Korean Jindo dog and American Akita entries.
The 46th annual AKIHO North America Exhibition will be held on Sunday, Feb. 10, from 10 a.m. to approximately 3 p.m. with a short lunch break between preliminary judging and final judging.
AKIHO North America Branch began in 1970 as the first overseas branch of the world’s first Akita Inu breed organization. AKIHO was established in 1927 in Odate, Akita Prefecture, where the preservation society’s headquarters and museum is still located.
Note: The AKIHO show will feature Japanese Akita only. Both JACA and AKIHO North America welcome spectators, but non-entered dogs are not allowed on the showground.
For more information about the shows, contact either club on their respective Facebook pages.