Category: animals

Yesterday's Print 2018-12-15 02:42:50

The Good Companions by

Henry Stevens, 1889

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The Shogun Who Loved Dogs

Tsunayoshi Tokugawa was shogun of Japan from 1680 to 1709. For a long time, he had a bad reputation, historically. The samurai class disliked him because Tsunayoshi had a fondness for boys of any class – and the samurai did not like that Tsunayoshi did not discriminate his lovers by class. He was also a pretty strict ruler, confiscating many properties, cracking down on prostitution, and banning too-fancy fabrics. None of which likely endeared Tsunayoshi to the literate class, either. But this is not a post about his administrative style. This is a post about dogs.

Often fondly referred to as Oinusama (the dog shogun), Tsunayoshi really did have a soft spot for canines. He was born during the Year of the Dog, and was told that he had been a dog in a previous life. Tsunayoshi also issued a number of edicts, known as Edicts on Compassion for Living Things, that were released daily to the public. Most of them involved the protection of dogs — in fact, it was a capital crime to harm one. A massive kennel, said to have held more than 50,000 dogs, had to be set up outside the capital city of Edo to house the surfeit of dogs that resulted. Paid for by the happy citizens of Edo, of course.

Tsunayoshi was not just about the dogs, though that is what he remains known for. He became immersed in Neo-Confucianism and studied it profusely. Through this influence, Tsunayoshi enacted many protections for living beings — not just dogs — during his rule. In fact, he also insisted abandoned children and sick travelers should be taken care of and not be left to die, as was often the practice.

Yesterday's Print 2018-12-14 18:11:41

Louis Agassiz Fuertes in National Geographic, March 1919

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Yesterday's Print 2018-12-14 05:59:11

Punch, England, August 1, 1934

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Yesterday's Print 2018-12-14 05:22:33

Illustrated Chips, England, August 03, 1895

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Yesterday's Print 2018-12-14 00:00:33

theroyalhistory:

The Hon. Mrs.

Drogo

Montagu

(born Tanis Guinness) and friends, 1932

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Yesterday's Print 2018-12-12 04:49:20

The Philadelphia Inquirer, Pennsylvania, August 12, 1903

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Yesterday's Print 2018-12-12 03:58:36

The Pittsburgh Press, Pennsylvania, September 15, 1932

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Yesterday's Print 2018-12-11 21:00:56

theroyalhistory:

The Hon. Mariegold Magdalene Fitzalan-Howard (later

Jamieson) and Woggles, 1937 

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Yesterday's Print 2018-12-11 06:48:00

Clifford McBride in The Herald-Press, St. Joseph, Michigan, September 8, 1928

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