THE NIHON KEN
Just as other cultures developed their relationship with the dog, so did the people of Japan. The aboriginal dogs were kept by villagers and used for hunting and guarding. These dogs came to be known as Nihon Ken, native Japanese dogs. Six breeds were derived: Akita, Shiba Inu, Hokkaido, Kishu, Kai Ken and Shikoku. Each breed was developed to have distinctive traits based on their place of origin.
The Japanese culture is steeped in deep tradition and respect for the natural world. In 1928, The Japanese Dog Preservation Society (Nihon Ken Hozankai, aka NIPPO ) was established to preserve and protect the native Japanese dog breeds. The Nihon ken is considered a national treasure in Japan.
IKON NIHON KEN
Our journey with the Japanese dog began in the 1980s when we adopted an Akita. We were amazed at the intelligence and devotion of this dog. We were instantly smitten by the beauty and nature of the Nihon ken.
Over the decades, our Nihon ken pack has grown to include Kai Ken and Shikoku.
We realized early on that the Japanese breeds were quite rare and their numbers are continuing to decline. Not a lot of information was available about the Nihon ken at the time, so we learned about raising them first hand.
Ikon Nihon Ken was established in 2003 to promote the preservation of Kai Ken and Shikoku Ken in North America. We chose the name Ikon as its meaning symbolizes our goal for the perfection of the breed. Our dogs will carry our kennel name as O’ikon (of Ikon) to indicate their origin. Our mission is to promote the genetic diversity and health in the breeds. We honor the long standing tradition in keeping the breeds true to their Kai Ken Aigokai [KKA] and Nihon Ken Hozankai [NIPPO] standards. Through health testing and selective breeding, we hope to have a positive impact for these dogs for generations to come.