Several years ago, we got an import from Japan and named her Waka. Like all of our dogs, Waka had a distinct personality and her own idiosyncratic behaviors, one of which was nibbling on unripe persimmon hanging from the tree in our backyard. We’re not sure if it was a case of doggy-see doggy-do (an unfortunate expression but it’s apt so it will have to do. See? It happened again!), or just our odd dogs, but a few of the others decided that they should also partake of the unripened persimmon.
There really is no accounting for taste with our little family of Japanese Akitas. If you’ve ever tried eating a persimmon before it’s ripe, you’ll have noticed a feeling like all the moisture has been sucked out of your mouth. It’s slightly akin to having a very, very, VERY dry wine. Apparently, our dogs like that overdose of tannins because it’s the same stuff. Eventually, we got another female and named her Kaki, which is the Japanese word for persimmon (and yes, Kaki likes kaki). So you could say, the Junketsu branding, so to speak, sort of took off from there.
Here’s Waka a few years ago checking out the persimmon tree. She’s the one who started it all. That year, we had only a few kaki that survived long enough to ripen.
Just a few weeks ago our youngest puppy Mikan already showed interest in the persimmons. Mikan means tangerine in Japanese (sometimes referred to as Satsuma or Mandarin orange). We were hoping if we named her after another fruit, she’d leave the persimmon tree alone. Alas, no.
At some point, we had to get Gobo into the act. He also likes unripe persimmons. One afternoon, we made him a persimmon leaf hat. He was very obliging for the photo op. BTW, Gobo is Japanese for burdock root. You may notice a trend here but we promise we’d never be so obvious as to call a one of our dogs sushi or teriyaki. That would be downright undignified.
From Gobo and his persimmon hat came the inspiration for our logo which was created by our good friend and talented graphic designer Julia Cooper. Because Julia has a Japanese Akita herself and has met some of our dogs in person, she totally captured the quirkiness and humour behind what we had in mind. To see more of her work, you can check out her JUELCO site.
And that is the story of the Junketsu Japanese Akitas logo.