Japan’s Ruling Class: Dogs

The photograph above demonstrates what I was hinting at in my April 17 column in the Japan Times, which is that animals are taking over Japan. Just a generation ago, few people would even think of allowing a dog into the house; now pets rule the roost. I’ve already covered pet manicures; here are more over-the-top pooch products and services.

Hot-spring resorts used to be for people, but dogs have crashed the party. These dudes are hanging out in the wanchan onsen ワンちゃん温泉 (bow-wow bath) at Shiosainoyu しおさいの湯 in Kawatana Onsen in Nagasaki Prefecture. One’s even got the towel-on-the-head trick down.

Meanwhile, this gal is relaxing in an outdoor bath in Hokkaido.

At New Year’s, people eat special food called osechi. Most Japanese don’t care for it, but that doesn’t stop owners from dropping wads so Princess can have her own New Year’s nibbles. Get this set of 26 items, cooked especially for dogs, delivered in a three-tier box for 21,000 yen ($247).

Heaven forbid His Majesty gets wet in the rain. How about this dog umbrella, which costs 4,500 yen on Yahoo Shopping.

Or this less-expensive model, which is just 1,980 yen on Amazon Japan.

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2 Responses to Japan’s Ruling Class: Dogs

  1. As a dog walker who takes care of some small dogs who hate the rain, that umbrella might come in handy! :) On a more serious note, have you considered writing a story about “Naoto Matsumura, Guardian of Fukushima’s Animals”? He’s been caring for animals in Tomioka, inside the exclusion zone for over a year. He spends 6-7 hours each day feeding dogs, cats, cows, pigs and two ostriches. A group of monks is also helping him. It’s a fascinating story. I post an English translation of a blog written by Mr. Matsumura’s friend each day. We have almost 2,000 members and have raised over $13,000 for Mr. Matsumura to help the animals. If you’re interested in learning more, please contact me. Thank you so much. (This is my Facebook page for Matsumura-san.)


  2. https://www.facebook.com/events/243694215728530/
    HI again, Alice…I though you and your readers might also enjoy learning about an event online and in Japan on April 22, 2012. The online event is a “Moment of Silence” to remember the pets and other animals who have died in Fukushima during the past year. It is as much for their human family as it is for the animals. After reading about the event, I wrote to them and asked if they would mind if I started a Facebook page to allow more people to participate and send messages to the people of Japan. So, if you or your readers are interested, please consider signing up for it. I’ve been so busy and didn’t get it up as soon as I would have liked but, we already have 372 people from all over the world who are joining us for this one moment to remember the animals. I hope you don’t mind me posting this information. Thank you so much.
    Nancy Holohan

    Dear Friends around the world,
    April 22 in 2011 became a sad day no animal lovers can forget.
    After the great earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, the nuclear power plant in Fukushima exploded, contaminating the surrounding area and forcing the residents to evacuate immediately.
    When the people evacuated in a hurry, they were not allowed to take their pets in the officially provided buses. Of course, there was no way for the farmers to save cows, pigs, hens, ostriches etc. But the refugees first thought they would be able to go back soon
    Unfortunately, however, they were not.
    On April 22, a sudden official announcement stated that the area within a 20km radius from the plant shall be completely blocked. At first, even the original residents were not able to get permission to enter there, needless to say, nor animal rescue volunteers.
    Pets and livestock depend on people who feed them. While people were not able to enter the no-go zone, countless pets and livestock lost their lives in miserable situation. This tragedy is not past but still present.
    On April 22 in 2012, the first anniversary of the area blockage, or the day “the national government gave up on animals,” we will hold the memorial services in Fukushima and Tokyo. We pray for the lost lives and pledge to keep on helping the animals that are still struggling to live. We also invite people in Japan and around the world to share a moment of silence at 2:46pm for the animals.
    Dear friends from around the world, who respect animals’ lives, regardless of your race, nationality or religion, let’s share the action on April 22.
    Please join us for a moment of silence and prayer.
    If you would hold a memorial service or meeting in your area, please contact :animal.prayer0422@gmail.com

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