“Mochimaru” Won the Wasao Grand Prize! – The Relaxed Atmosphere Soothed the Audience at the Osaka Convention

  • 2023-12-07
  • 2023-12-07
  • NEWS
  • 32view

The Osaka Wasao Grand Prize, a competition for long-haired Akita dogs, was held in Izumiotsu City, Osaka Prefecture. Twenty dogs entered the competition, and Mochimaru, a two-year-old male dog owned by Shigeo Mitomi of Hamamatsu City, Shizuoka Prefecture, won the grand prize.

Mr. Mitomi (right) and his family with Mochimaru, this year’s Wasao Grand Prize winner

Owners showed their dogs’ unique traits and other skills at the event. The audience voted for their favorite dog, and the grand prize was decided.

Mochimaru is characterized by his low voice when he howls. On the day of the event, Mr. Mitomi showed Mochimaru a fan with an illustration of a full moon on it and played the sound of a siren on his smartphone to make Mochimaru more appealing, but he never made a sound.

As another skill, Mr. Mitomi also challenged Mochimaru to “catch snacks,” but Mochimaru neglected to participate. In contrast to Mr. Mitomi’s desperate attempts to show off his dog’s unique skills, Mochimaru’s easygoing demeanor seemed to win the audience’s hearts. Mr. Mitomi said, “People around me told me his loose, relaxed atmosphere was cute. I wonder if it was the opposite of being cute in a carefree way.  

Mochimaru is Mr. Mitomi’s first dog, but he has dreamed of owning an Akita dog for about 20 years since he married. His wife, Yoko, is from Akita City and had an Akita dog for a long time. They said, “We both decided that an Akita was the only dog we would ever own.” 

In 2021, after being blessed with four children and having settled down to raise them, the Mitomi family welcomed an Akita dog into their lives. Mr. Mitomi said, “I don’t think it’s easy to take care of Akita dogs, including their necessary training at home, but we are really happy to live with him.” Thanks to Mochimaru, I have connected with many people, and he has taken our family to many different places. He has broadened the scope of our lives.”

The Wasao Grand Prize was a yearly competition held in Ajigasawa, Aomori Prefecture, in honor of Wasao and took place from 2015 to 2019. Wasao was the signature dog of a grilled squid shop in Ajigasawa and died in June 2020. The competition highlighted long-haired breeds, which are difficult to evaluate at exhibitions and other events. The Osaka contest has been held since 2021 by volunteers led by Mr. Tsuyoshi Kono, the owner of Kojiro (six-year-old male), who won the grand prize in Aomori in 2019. Mr. Kono said, “I would be happy if everyone who participated could think about the importance of animal life and diversity and if everyone who attended could smile.”

>Where Dogs Connect Akita and the World

Where Dogs Connect Akita and the World

Akita Inu (dogs), with their fluffy coat, round eyes, and an adorable tail that curls up, are now famous worldwide. Akita dogs have a strong body and are best known for their loyal personality. The number of Akita dogs raised overseas continues to increase. In Akita Prefecture, the Akita dog's birthplace, there is an active movement to utilize them for tourism promotion. Akita Sakigake Shimpo, entitled "Akitainu News," will circulate various domestic and international information about Akita dogs. The goal is to connect the world and Akita through Akita dogs.