Kishu Ken Breed Magazine - Showsight

THE KISHU KEN A Wonderfully Wild Dog Living in a Modern World

M any breeds have an origin story or mythology which enthusiasts hold on to or repeat. The Kishu Ken breed is no exception, though their story sometimes reads more like a fairytale. This tale has been written by a number of authors and passed down by orators through the years, and has some differences based on the author, but it goes like this… Once upon a time, there lived a boar hunter who had cut out a life for himself in the mountains of Japan’s Kii Peninsula. This area was defined by its steep volcanic mountain ranges and thickly forested areas, and was blessed by temperate weather. One wet and cold winter day, when he was returning from a hunt, the hunter found an injured she-wolf on the road. The wolf was a great hunter herself, and so, he showed compassion for her; he fed her and restored her to health enough so that she could return home. In return for his kindness, the wolf offered the hunter a gift to show her gratitude, but when asked what he would like for his generosity, the hunter asked the wolf for one of her pups. Life in the mountains was difficult and lonely without a companion, and she was surely a superior hunter. Having a companion to hunt with would make life safer and easier for both of them. Many months passed after the wolf had made her way home. It had been so long without contact that the hunter believed she had forgotten her promise. Yet, one day in the spring, when the hunter returned home from an unsuccessful hunt, he found a wolf pup waiting at his door. This pup went on to become a fierce, tireless boar hound and the progenitor for the Kishu Ken breed.



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