Kan-i, Ryosei, Soboku

The Shiba Inu is smallest of the original races of dogs of Japan. It is a small, agile dog, used for hunting in the mountains.

In 1936, the Shiba Inu was declared National Treasure of Japan. In spite of the efforts to preserve the race, this one was on the brink of extinction after World War II.


Traditionally, there are three words to describe the Shiba Inu temperament:

The first is kan-i : bravery and spirited boldness combined with composure and mental strength.
The second is ryosei : good nature with a gentle disposition.
One cannot exist without the other.
The last is soboku : artlessness with a refined and open spirit.

That this little dog is a National Treasure is no coincidence.  The people of Japan deserve our admiration and respect for their preparedness and their stoicism in the face of this awful disaster. There is a lesson in all this for the rest of us.

National stoicism helps Japan manage disaster recovery – story in the Globe & Mail.

Still image from: Mari and Three Puppies, a movie about the 2004 Niigata earthquake.

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