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There are many kinds of dogs that originate from different prefectures of Japan. These dogs are known all over the world, and the areas they’re from are very proud of them. 

Here are some of the most popular Japanese dogs. See how many you know! 


In Russia, the Japanese Akita-inu (“inu” means dog in Japanese) is very popular these days since Japan gifted it to Russian President Vladimir Putin a few years ago. The Akita-inu is originally from Akita prefecture.

Hokkaido-inu (Ainu-inu)

In Japan, the Japanese Hokkaido-inu (Ainu-inu) is used as the mascot for one of Japan’s biggest telecom companies and appears frequently in their popular TV commercials. The Hokkaido-inu is originally from Hokkaido prefecture.


The great hunter Kai-ken is used for hunting animals in mountains. Kai-ken is originally from Kai in Yamanashi prefecture.


There is another white dog Kishu-inu in Japan and it is very similar to the Hokkaido-inu. Many people say the Hokkaido-inu has cute eyes like a tanuki and the Kishu-inu has sharp eyes like a fox, but as you can see it is very, very hard to see the difference…

The Kishu-inu is originally from Wakayama prefecture (its old name is Kishu).


One of the most popular Japanese dogs is Shiba-inu. There is also a small version of it called the Mame-shiba. There is a popular TV show on TV Tokyo network using the Mame -shiba as the main character named “Mamesuke” and he is very cute.



The Shikoku-ken is a mix between the Japanese wolf, okami, and a Japanese dog. It is very handsome and looks similar to the Japanese wolf. It is sometimes called Tosatoken but is totally different from Tosatoken. The Shikoku-ken is originally from Shikoku island.


The famous Japanese Tosatoken is a fighting dog. It is very big and dangerous and there have been cases where it has killed its own master. The tosatoken is originally from Shikoku island (its old name is Tosahan).

Japanese dogs are famous for loyalty to their masters, and there is a Japanese old film called “Hachiko Monogatari” (the story of Hachiko). In 2009, it was remade into “Hachi: A Dog’s Tale” in America.

Cover photo: Wikipedia

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