Phew, this website is a labor of love and largely a one-woman show so unless indicated, all articles written by J.Tsukamoto
The Shiba Inu is one of the six native and ancient dog breeds of Japan.
Shibas are a beautiful specimen of a dog and have caught the attention of dog aficionado’s all around the globe.
While we know the meaning and origins of the names of most modern dog breeds - the exact meaning of the word Shiba Inus has not been confirmed nor verified.
This is due to the fact that Shiba Inus originated in Japan a long time ago and interpretations of the name can change as written history gets harder to access - especially for those that are not Japanese.
Current Theory on The Definition of Shiba Inu
With the facts and history we have now, we do have a good hypothesis on the meaning of the word Shiba Inu.
In Japanese, the word “Inu” means dog so luckily that’s a no-brainer.
However the term Shiba encompasses a few possible meanings. The first being “brushwood”.
Perhaps Shibas were named because either they hunted in the brushwood, or the color of the red Shiba Inu’s fur resembled brushwood leaves / branches.
The last theory on the origin of the Shiba Inu names is that Shiba translates to “small”. This translation is now obsolete.
“Small dog”, is not a very creative way for the Japanese of the time to name a Shiba so I’ll put my bets on the name originating from the fact that Shiba Inus enjoyed hunting in brushwood - what do you think?
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