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This article from the June 19th, 1941 edition of the Yomiuri Shimbun (Japan) announces the birth of a litter of crossbred wolfdogs. Four pups were born in February 1941 from Tora, a 3-year-old Kai Ken male out of a kennel based in Yamanashi Prefecture, and Sekiroko (赤狼, “Red Wolf”), a gray wolf from Manchuria. The article claims that Nihon ken and wolves share “the same blood,” representing this union as a natural melding of not only two compatible biological orders, but geo-political ones as well. This is especially significant given that Manchuria was a Japanese-occupied puppet state at this time.

Unfortunately, one pup died, but two black pups and a red pup remain, housed in a specially built wolf house located at Koufu. The article finishes on a triumphant note, claiming that the father’s intelligence and the mother’s wild temperament (notice the juxtaposition of Japanese “culture” against Manchurian “primitivism”) will specially endow these puppies to become superior war dogs.

I can’t help but wonder how difficult these wolfdogs were to train. One needs more than a ferocious reputation and appearance to be suited for military purposes, after all…

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