The Osaka competition for the Wasao Grand Prize, in which long-haired Akita dogs gather to compete for attractiveness, was held in Izumiotsu City, Osaka Prefecture, on March 13. Mosuke (one-year-old male) Akita dog owned by Miiki Kamimori, and his wife, Miaki, both from Sakai City, won the grand prize.
Twenty-five dogs from all over Japan participated in the competition. The owners showed off their dogs’ charms in front of an audience of about 300 people. Each audience member voted for their favorite dog, and the grand prize went to Mosuke.
Mr. and Mrs. Kamimori fell in love at first sight with a fluffy, long-haired Akita dog they saw at a pet shop last year. Mr. Kamimori describes Mosuke as “a pampered and friendly dog,” although he often barks at other male dogs. At the show, he showed off his signature moves, such as “paw,” “lie down,” and “high-five.” Miaki said, “Even in front of so many people, he was able to perform calmly. I’m happy to have won the championship.”
The Wasao Grand Prize was held in Ajigasawa Town, Aomori Prefecture, to celebrate the popularity of Wasao, the signature dog of an ikayaki (grilled squid) restaurant. Sadly, Wasao died in June 2020, and the event in Aomori has been suspended since then due to the spread of the coronavirus. The Osaka contest was held again last year by volunteers led by Tsuyoshi Kono, who owns Kojiro (five-year-old male) Akita dog that won the grand prize in 2019 in Ajigasawa. Kono said, “We will not forget our gratitude to Wasao, who helped bring long-haired Akita dogs into the limelight. We want to make this a competition where everyone will join in voting on long-haired Akita dogs, and show them love for many years to come.”