May 3-5, 2013, set the ball rolling in Japan when a three-show cluster got under way in Hiroshima, the largest city on western Honchu Island, the largest island in Japan. Founded in 1589 on the Delta coastline of the Seto Inland Sea, this city had been under siege by several warlords. However, in 1871 the major city became the capital of the entire Hiroshima Prefecture and was instrumental in the growing Japanese economy during the Imperial period, moving from primarily rural, raising mostly cotton, to urban industries, making military arms.

With a current population of around 2 million, the capital is visited daily by many hundreds of tourists who go to pay their respects to the 80,000 who lost their lives on August 6, 1945, and the tens of thousands more who later passed away from radiation poisoning. Following World War II, most of Hiroshima was eventually rebuilt, rising as did the Phoenix to a beautiful city, save for one destroyed section that was set aside as a reminder of the effects of the first of two atom bombs rendered to the country by the allies and in particular the U.S. Air Force. Each August 6, many thousands of people both Japanese and foreigners of mixed religion, gather at Peace Memorial Park to join in interfaith religious services commemorating the anniversary of that day in history.

The city of Onomichi-shi, which faces the inland sea, was the venue for the Hiroshima Louis Fanciers Club, the Hiroshima Legend Aiken Club and the Mihara Fresh Kenyuu Club. Culture is everything to the Japanese and is even built into all aspects of dog shows , for example, ai equals “love” and ken equals “dog” to make aiken, while yuu equals “friend,” so kenyuu means “dogfriend”!

Judges for the May show in Japan’s Hiroshima Prefecture were, from left, Mr. Ronny Doedijns of the Netherlands, Maribel Sy of the Philippines and Australian David Strachan. Photo by Mr. Taguchi

Australian David Strachan headed up the panel, along with well known and respected Mr. Ronny Doedijns from the Netherlands, together with one of the Philippines’ more recent and traveled all breed judges, Maribel Sy, who was stopping off en route to Alberta, Canada, for some R&R with daughter (my best friend) Anna Mae, husband, Jerome, and granddaughter, the cutest and very pretty Jenna, as well as another assignment.

Maribel Sy with her BIS and Best King for the Hiroshima Louis Fanciers Club, Miniature Longhaired Dachshund Ch. Thankfull JP Of Doremifasollosido, owned by Hideo Ohishi. Photo by Mr. Taguchi.

Maribel was first to put her entries through their paces, selecting the Miniature Longhaired Dachshund Ch. Thankfull JP Of Doremifasollosido, owned by Hideo Ohishi, as her Best King and BIS. For Best Queen, it was the Toy Poodle Spede Twinkle JP Wee, owned by Tomoka Kuroda. Reserve King and Reserve Queen respectively went to the Newfoundland Ch. Reon Of Night In Zoo, owned by Imayuki Tenno, and the Scottish Terrier, Dear Mrs. JP Devils Dream, owned by Yoshimi Itoya.

Baby Puppy in Show was the Siberian Husky Cere Dream JP’S Holy Grail, owned by Nami Sasaki, while Puppy BIS was the Shih Tzu Sunny Fatth JP’S Midnight Wing, owned by Michiru Watanabe.

David Strachan chose Ch. Griffin JP Manny Pacquiau, owned by Akiko Usui, as his Best in Show and Best King for the Hiroshima Legend Aiken show. Photo by Mr. Taguchi.

Hiroshima Legend Aiken Show had David in the spotlight as he went about his final selections. From another great lineup, Best King and Best in Show was the smart, sure-footed Papillon BIS Ch. Griffin JP Manny Pacquiau, owned by Akiko Usui. His choice for Best Queen and Reserve in Show was the Toy Poodle Ch. Star Legend Winter Rose FCI, owned by Yuji Oda. Reserve King and Queen were respectively the Jack Russell Terrier Ch. Mon Amour JP You’re My Sunshine, owned by Kaori Michi, and the Newfoundland Omame Of Night In Zoo JP, owned by Toshiko Hina.

Baby Puppy in Show went to the Shih Tzu House Ritduko JP Atlas Rach, owned by Yoshihiro Ijiri, while for Puppy in Show it was the Pembroke Welsh Corgi Soul Magic JP Sirius, owned by Kozo Umeda.

Am. Ch. Arktis Scharlesta JP’s Ambrosia, owned by Yoko Umeki, was Ronny Doedijns’ selection for Mihara Fresh Kenyuu Club Best in Show and Best King. Photo by Mr. Taguchi.

Mihara Fresh Kenyuu Club was in the hands of Ronny Doedijns, who gave his selections a good going over. In the final round, it was to be the Borzoi that would take the honors for Best King and BIS, Am. Ch. Arktis Scharlesta JP’s Ambrosia, owned by Yoko Umeki. Best Queen and Reserve in Show went to yet another Toy Poodle, Ch. Pop Trick JP Big Horn, owned by Mamoru Ohyama. Reserve King and Queen were respectively the Pembroke Welsh Corgi Ch. Four Winds JP At Cosmo, owned by Makiko Sumiyoshi, and the Miniature Schnauzer Lucky Well JP Brilliant Stroke, owned by Tomoyuki Fukui.

Ronny’s Baby Puppy in Show went to the French Bulldog, Bannana Pokka Valde’s Leko, owned by Yumiko Watanabe, while the Beat in Show Puppy award was the Dobermann Captain Jack JP OK Rise Junior, owned by Masatugu Okano.

Soon enough it was homeward-bound for three weary travelers. From this correspondent’s point of view, special and grateful thanks cannot be overstated to the three people who provided award placings, names and photographs that make this a worthy read and pictorial.

Thank you so much, Maam Michie Hanabe (Show Chair Yamaguchi shows), Ms. Akiko Kanmoto (a beautiful friend and best steward ever) and the most patient, gracious and generous show photographer, Mr. Taguchi, who supplied the pictorials.

We are hopeful that there will be continuing news from the land of the rising sun so that readers are kept informed of trends, awards and the many latest of show dogs as they come on stream throughout the country.

Keven Harris has been a judge for 41 years, the last 28 as an all-breed judge. He is approved for all Groups, including Miscellaneous, and Best in Show by the American Kennel Club. This article is reprinted with the kind permission of Dog News Australia .