(From The Japan News)
Manga and anime have stimulated a lot of foreign interest in Japan in recent years. Now a Shiba dog has picked up the leash to become a Japanese sensation overseas.
Maru, an 8-year-old male Shiba that lives in Tokyo, has become a star on Instagram, with more than 2.4 million followers in Japan and abroad. Sometimes standing in a dignified posture with pointed ears and curled tail — traits characteristic of the breed that is native to Japan — Maru can be seen in daily updates on the social networking site.
Shinjiro Ono, a 42-year-old company owner in Tokyo, posts shots of his dog every day. Ono and his wife found Maru in a pet shop in December 2007 when he was a 2-month-old puppy and soon started recording his growth on Instagram. Ono originally posted three photos of his pet daily in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011. His intention was to cheer up those affected by the disaster by posting snapshots of the adorable, round-faced Maru. “There were only a few followers in the beginning,” Ono said. “But within a month there were more than 5,000.” He was astonished to learn that many of the viewers lived overseas. Read More