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Japanese Tosa fighting dog okimono by Sotaro Saegusa

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    Posted 3 years ago

    (1151 items)

    This Tosa fighting dog okimono by Saegusa Sotaro is 7" long x 5.5" high x 2.5" wide. The dog is hollow and has something inside that rattles when it is shaken, it weighs 1 lb 5 ounces. The garland is solid and weighs 8 ounces. I am not sure what the metal is. It is not magnetic. My guess would be aluminum bronze, but that is just a guess. There are two sets of marks on the bottom, but they are indistinct.

    This may be a souvenir of the dog fights. Again, just a guess. I think the garland and costume (kesho-mawashi) are the accoutrements of a champion or grand champion dog. I don't know if they identify a specific dog or are generic. (I later found another one of these for sale in Japan with Saegusa's plaque, etc., and the seller identified it as a Yokozuna Dog, Champion Dog). There are several categories of these dogs:

    The ranking of Tosa fighting dogs is as follows:

    MAEGASHIRA: Absolute beginner
    KOMUSUBI: Professional with 4 fights
    SEKIWAKE: The fighter rising in the ranks
    OZEKI: Dog with 10 fights that can compete for the title of champion
    YOKOZUNA: Champion
    YUSHOKEN: Individual tournament champion

    Found here:

    Tosa fighting dog matches are different than Western dog fighting. The goal is for one dog to dominate the other dog. Little, or no, blood is shed and matches are stopped if one of the dogs is injured. It has a lot in common with Sumo wrestling and is often compared to that sport. Sumo wrestlers wear an apron similar to the one this dog is wearing.

    I had purchased a Saegusa Sotaro okimono from a seller in Japan and asked them about combining shipping for this dog but did not follow up on it. I think the seller thought that I was playing hardball on the price for this okimono but I had just decided to not buy it since it was more that I was interested in paying. The seller cut the price several times until it reached $7.50 so I decided to go ahead and buy it. The Saegusa item had supposedly already shipped, but apparently the seller was sitting on it until I bought something else and both pieces arrived in the same box.... It was a great deal for me!

    It was 10 months before I noticed that this Tosa Dog bears Saegusa's mark on the outside of its right leg.... Shown in the lower left corner of image #2. I actually spotted it while looking at this post, not by looking the okimono!

    Mystery Solved
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    1. LaurenRedmond LaurenRedmond, 3 years ago
      I love his pose, it's both very strong and very loyal, the costume and garland on him are really unusual too. He kinda has a bit of a golden retriever look too except a far more angular head and with his pose. I think his owner has a box of treats and he's standing ready, waiting for one! :P
    2. kwqd kwqd, 3 years ago
      Thanks for your comments LaurenRedmond! These dogs are the Japanese equivalent of Sumo wrestlers. Sumo wrestlers wear the same kind of cloth apron. I think these are very proud dogs, so he is probably standing there absorbing the admiration of his fans!

      Thanks for loving my Tosa dog okimono mikelv85, Thomas, fortapache, Watchsearcher, LaurenRedmond, Kevin and BHIFOS!
    3. kwqd kwqd, 3 years ago
      Thanks for loving my Japanese Tosa dog okimono Alfie21, PhilDMorris, Daisy1000 and aura!
    4. kwqd kwqd, 3 years ago
      Thanks for your comments, Eileen. I, too, am anti dog fighting, dog racing, horse racing, etc. Glad you enjoyed my post!

      Thanks for loving my Tosa fighting dog lizzycbw, Eileen and BlingJewelsMore!
    5. kwqd kwqd, 3 years ago
      Thanks for loving my Tosa dog Jenni!
    6. kwqd kwqd, 3 years ago
      Thanks for checking out my Tosa dog okimono Vynil33rpm!
    7. kwqd kwqd, 3 years ago
      Thanks for checking out an loving my Tosa dog okimono Karen and LovelyPat!
    8. kwqd kwqd, 3 years ago
      Thank you dav2no1 and Manikin!
    9. kwqd kwqd, 3 years ago
      Thank you Cisum and Mrstyndall!
    10. kwqd kwqd, 3 years ago
      Thanks Kevin!
    11. kwqd kwqd, 2 years ago
      I cannot believe that I just noticed that this Tosa dog bears the mark of Sotaro Saegusa on its right hip! Mystery solved.
    12. kwqd kwqd, 2 years ago
      I added a closeup of the SS mark in Image #2...
    13. kwqd kwqd, 2 years ago
      Thank you Collectables59!

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