Art@Site unkown Karafuto Sled Dogs

unkown artist


Karafuto Sled Dogs

Tokyo Tower
This is an amazing story of survival, commemorated by this bronze sculpture, placed by the Japan Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals at the base of Tokyo Tower.
In 1958 a Japanese research team in Antarctica, forced to make an emergency evacuation, left behind 13 Karafuto (Sakhalin husky) sled dogs. Assuming that a rescue team would soon return for them, the team left the dogs chained, with a small supply of food. Unfortunately, the severity of the weather forced the rescue boat to abandon the site, leaving the faithful dogs to the ravishes of the severe environment.
With a nation still mourning the loss of the faithful dogs, a return expedition the following year was astounded to find two of the dogs, Taro and Jiro, alive and well! They, along with four of the other dogs had managed to slip their collars, although only these two had managed to survive the frozen wilderness, probably learning to hunt penguins and seals. Seven of the dogs were found still chained, and frozen.
Amazingly, both of the surviving dogs remained to pull sleds for the new expedition. Jiro died the following year of natural causes in Antarctica, and is on display at the National Science Museum in Ueno Park, Tokyo. Taro returned to Sapporo, Japan, where he lived until his death in 1970 at the age of fifteen, and is now on display at the Hokkaido University Museum. Other sculptures of them have been created throughout Japan, keeping their memory alive.
So, inspiring was the story of these courageous dogs that in 1983 a movie was made to celebrate their amazing survival. Under the direction of Koreyoshi Kurahara the movie, Nankyoku Monogatari (Tale of Antarctica) recounted this astounding tale. An English version was released under the title, Antarctica.