Directed by Kamei Toru (109 min.) 2009
A touching story about a reclusive 32-year-old man, Jiro, who is out of work and lives at home with his parents. After tragedy hits the family, his mother runs away and leaves behind a six month old dog named Ichiro. Together with the cute bean sized Shiba-Inu, Jiro must venture outside to find his mother.
The film is a film adaptation of a popular TV series, and is the first of three sequels including one in 3D.
Shiba Inu 柴犬
Shiba Inu is the smallest of the six original and distinct spitz breeds of dog from Japan. A small, agile dog that copes very well with mountainous terrain, the Shiba Inu was originally bred for hunting.
The word shiba means “brushwood” in Japanese, and refers to a type of tree or shrub whose leaves turn red in the fall. This leads some to believe that the Shiba was named with this in mind, either because the dogs were used to hunt in wild shrubs, or because the most common color of the Shiba Inu is a red color similar to that of the shrubs. However, in an old Nagano dialect, the word shiba also had the meaning of “small”, thus this might be a reference to the dog’s diminutive stature. [Haskett, Gretchen; Houser, Susan (1997). The Total Shiba. Loveland, CO: Alpine Publications.]