Once upon a time, before the free flow of information on the internet really took off, it was difficult to get breeds like the Kishu out of Japan. A language barrier (due to few Japanese people speaking English and few English speakers learning Japanese) made things even more difficult without hiring a translator - and finding breeders was even more difficult. Then, there was the perception that they were a natural treasure and protected lead to the mythology that breeders did not want to export their dogs.
This has largely been refuted today; many breeders are more than happy to share their dogs with other enthusiasts, even in the USA. The internet makes it easier than ever for breeders in Japan to connect with enthusiasts outside of Japan in a common tongue. Mr. Shigeru Kato of the Nihon Ken Blog also runs an export business for Japanese dogs, making communication between breeder and prospective owner even easier.
Even NIPPO has changed to accept some correspondence in English, and you may email NIPPO to renew or register all in English. Clubs like the Colonial Shiba Club also help with English-language NIPPO registration. NIPPO also offers romaji (or Roman/English letters) on pedigrees, making it easy to use NIPPO pedigrees to register your Kishu Ken with the AKC.
If you are interested in importing a dog from Japan, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at the club so we may help point you in the right direction to streamline your process.
It is not difficult, but with the rarity of breeders these days, can take some time. The good news is that Japan is considered a rabies-free country according to the CDC, which means your pup can be in their new forever home quickly once a breeder and litter are located and secured.
Kishu Ken centric articles written by club members. If you are a club member who would like to submit an article for the website, please contact us.