Shiba Inu are said to be tsundere, stubborn, and a bit nervous. Illustrator Naomi Kageyama is fascinated by Shiba Inus and has lived with four Shiba Inus for 20 years.
The first Gon was so friendly that it was hard to believe that a Japanese dog could be like this. The second dog, Tetsu, was like a samurai. The second dog, Tetsu, is like a samurai. He was kind to the dogs under his care. After Gon went to heaven, we welcomed our third dog, Koma, an innocent and cheerful girl. The fourth dog, Gaku, was a black Shiba, a shelter dog, who was so sweet that we thought he might be a poodle borrowing the form of a Shiba Inu. Gaku, the fourth black Shiba and a shelter dog, is so pampered that one wonders if he might be a poodle borrowing the Shiba form. What all four dogs have in common is that they “watch their owners closely while pretending to be unobtrusive.
Kageyama has published many books on Shiba Inu, and this time we asked her to give us prescriptions for each of the problems of Corona Kaiyoshi, based on her book “Shiba Inu Prescription to Unwind Your Heart Just by Reading” (Shufunotomo), which summarizes what she has learned from them and what she notices in their daily lives. How will the Shiba dogs respond to these problems?
Q_I’m with my family all day long at the remote. I feel suffocated.
A_Don’t force yourself to be with them, but move to a place where you are comfortable.
Shiba Inu is a master of “alone time. “Shiba Inus are masters of ‘alone time.’ They may have been watching TV with you a while ago, but when you notice them, they are gone, curled up upstairs asleep. Then he returns with a refreshed face as if nothing had happened.
Sometimes I am disappointed because they disappear without a sound, and I think to myself, “Didn’t we used to have fun together? I am sometimes disappointed, but instead of forcing myself to go out with them, I casually move to a place where I am most comfortable at that moment.
Some people may not know where to go when asked to be alone, but I think it might be possible to go for a walk or something to create a little time for relaxation.
Q. I don’t go out drinking as much anymore, so I can’t get depressed anymore.
A_Before the balloon gets fully inflated, let it explode frequently.
Tetsu had a problem behavior for a while, biting the legs of family members when he got stressed out. So, I tried to cope with his behavior by doing small things such as taking him for an hour-long walk once every three days instead of the usual 20 minutes, or letting him play with a ball in the house, and in the end he became a really calm and nice old man.
It is important to release gas. It may have been natural for him to explode all at once after a drinking session, but by letting him explode in a small burst before the balloon is fully inflated, the stress will dissipate before you know it, and you can create such a flow.
Q_My wife and I have a difference in temperature when it comes to measures against coronas, etc., and we have had an increase in petty quarrels.
A_ I take a relaxed attitude and eliminate the chain of tension.
If you are tense, it can be transmitted to those around you. Shiba Inus are very observant, and before I take action, they know, “That thing is coming! Before I can take action, they know, “That thing is coming! I think he is going to wipe my feet after that. Some of them growl at me because they think I am going to wipe their feet or brush them. Then I gradually learn to know about three seconds before they growl, and we both get tense (laughs).
(Laughs.) So, I have come to realize that I don’t have to do everything according to the dog’s wishes, but I don’t have to force the dog to do something it doesn’t want to do. When I was relaxed, the dogs became relaxed, too, and eventually they didn’t mind being brushed, which they didn’t like. It would be ideal if I could respond to tension in a relaxed manner, instead of just being tense.
Q_I feel that maybe because I did not talk to many people for three years, I have become shy and I feel like I am too lazy to meet people.
A_If you don’t want to meet with people, you don’t have to force yourself to do so. If you feel you are forcing yourself, it is important to stop.
When I look at Shiba Inu and the others, I feel that they are not forcing themselves to do anything (laughs). (Laughs.) Even if I am standing outside talking to someone, they are looking away and looking at me.
I tend to think that because I am loving it, the other person is feeling the same way, but in fact, it is not the case at all. Sometimes I feel more comfortable if I think it is natural. Sometimes we actually see the same thing and say to each other, “It’s beautiful,” but it’s better to think that we are very lucky and that we are different from each other. If you feel like you don’t want to see other people, why don’t you try to be more self-oriented?
I think it is important to stop and soften your heart without trying too hard when you feel you are pushing yourself too hard.
Q_I can’t live happily because of all the gloomy news and a vague sense of stagnation.
A_Let’s think that things won’t stay this way forever and try not to be carried away.
Even though everyone we passed in Corona started wearing masks, that didn’t upset the Shibas. Even if the smell of disinfectant left a residue on their hands, they didn’t seem too bothered by it, because of the general nature of the original voice and smell.
While the coronas made them anxious, many of them felt reassured that their pets remained the same. Even though I feel gloomy, it’s important not to get carried away because I have to get my life in order first.
Seeing those kids makes me think that I don’t have to think so much. At some point, you suddenly become a corona, and things may suddenly change again. I think it’s better to look at it positively and say, “Things won’t stay the same forever.
Naomi Kageyama is an illustrator. She currently lives in Shonan with her two Shiba Inus (Koma and Gaku) and her husband. Her books include “Shiba Inu-san no Tsubo” series (Tatsumi Shuppan), “Shiba Inu Tetsu to Koma no Hohon na Kurashi” (Benesse Corporation), “Shiba Inu Kota no Shippopoto” (Jingu-kan), and “Shiba Inu no Torisetsu” (Seitosha).
- Click here to purchase Naomi Kageyama’s Shiba Inu-related books.
- Shiba Inu Prescription” (Shufu no Tomo Publishing Co., Ltd.)
- Shiba Inu-san no Tsubo (Shiba Inu’s Points) (Tatsumi Shuppan)
- Shiba Inu Tetsu to Koma no Hohon na Kurashi (Shiba Inu Tetsu and Koma: A Hohon na Kurashi) (Benesse Corporation)
- Shiba Inu Kota no Shippopoto” (Jingu-kan)
- Shiba Inu no Torisetsu” (Shiba Inu’s Tricks) (Seitosha)
Interview and text： Chimasa Ide
Freelance writer. She works in a variety of genres, including fashion magazines, information magazines, and websites. Through her interviews with Ms. Kageyama, she recalled her beloved dog, which she had owned for 13 years since childhood. Just before he passed away due to illness, he was not even strong enough to stand up, but he kept tugging on the leash and saying, "Let's go for a walk," probably because he thought, "If I go for a walk, my family will be happy. He probably thought, "If I go for a walk, my family will be happy, and if they are happy, I will be happy. There are so many things we can learn from animals.