Nihonken Hozonkai (Nippo) is the organization in Japan that has its main goal “the protection and preservation of the domestic Japanese breeds”.
In 1928 a group of friends under the leadership of Dr. Hiroyoshi Saito got together when they saw the necessity of protecting domestic Japanese dog breeds. After thorough research in various parts of Japan to trace and catalogue domestic breeds, Nihon Ken Hozonkai, better known as NIPPO, was established in 1932.
In the 1930’s the authorities in Japan were inclined to give recognition to an fund matters which they considered to be of national cultural importance, and these were given "Natural Cultural Monument"-status’. This also applied to the Akita, Shiba, Shikoku, Kishu, Hokkaido and Kai. The first to obtain this status was the Akita in 1931, followed by the Shiba in 1936. The following year NIPPO was awarded official recognition by the authorities.
Shortly after its establishment, NIPPO formulated and set out the Basic Standards for the domestic Japanese Dog, which was almost poetic and prosaic in its descriptions of the Japanese dog. The medium-sized dog was used here as a model. These descriptions however were so brief and concise that it was quickly realized that elaboration was necessary, especially for the judges. A supplement to the Basic Standard was formulated, the so called Judging Resolutions, consisting of in depth information and many detailed illustrations, without which the judging of the Japanese dog is extremely difficult.
In short, the NIPPO Standard is subdivided into two sections: the Basic Standard and the Judging Resolutions, differentiating six breeds. These are the Akita (large), the Shikoku, Kishu, Hokkaido and Kai (medium-sized) and the Shiba (small).
In “The Total Shiba”, a book by Gretchen Haskett and Susan Houser, everything to do with NIPPO is gone into great detail. This book is an absolute must for the true Shiba fancier. Of great interest are the remarks by Mr. Hajime Watanabe on the Basic Standard and his concise expalantion of the terms ‘Kan-i’, ‘Ryosei’ and ‘Soboku’.
To get a further explanation of kan-i, ryosei and soboku, and in an attempt to understand the true "being" of the Shiba, I came, with the help of friends, with these descriptions:
* Going through a growth proces by means of the "experiences of life", resulting in full development, mentally as well as physically.
organizes exhibitions at various levels. These days the Shiba, the Shikoku and
the Kishu fall under the auspices of NIPPO. Yearly there are 42 local shows and
8 regional shows. Once a year there is the so called ‘NIPPO Grand National’,
a two day event at which hundreds of Shibas are judged. The quality of the dogs
here is of such a high level compared to what we are used to in Europe, that a
dog with for example one missing dental element or a dog which is a fraction
outside the standard specified size, will not be shown, no matter how beautiful
the dog might be. No dogs with dental flaws will ever achieve high awards.
Source: “The Total Shiba” by Gretchen Haskett and Susan Houser.
First edition 1997 by Alpine Publications ISBN: 0-0931866-98-7
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