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Dog Man: An Uncommon Life on a Faraway Mountain (Paperback)
Indie Next List Highlights 2008
“After World War II and over the course of decades, Morie Sawataishi bred Japanese Akitas and brought them back from the brink of extinction. A remarkable story in deceptively simple prose. Morie is not always a likeable man, but his passion rings true, and, in the end, I deeply admired him.”
— Lisa Stefanacci, The Book Works, Del Mar, CA
Dog Man: An Uncommon Life on a Faraway Mountain is a stunning portrait of the Japanese rebel who single-handedly rescued the 4,000-year-old Akita dog breed. At the end of World War II, there were only 16 Akita dogs left in Japan. Morie Sawataishi became obsessed with preventing the extinction of the 4,000-year-old Japanese dog breed. He defied convention, broke the law, gave up a prestigious job, and chose instead to take his urbanite wife to Japan's forbidding snow country to start a family, and devote himself entirely to saving the Akita. Martha Sherrill blends archival research, on-site reportage, and her talent for narrative to reveal Sawataishi's world, providing a profound look at what it takes to be an individual in a culture where rebels are rare, while expertly portraying a side of Japan that is rarely seen by outsiders.
About the Author
Martha Sherrill is a former Washington Post staff writer known for her penetrating profiles of people, both famous and obscure. Her award-winning writing has appeared in Esquire and Vanity Fair, among other publications. She is the author of The Buddha from Brooklyn, a work of nonfiction, and two novels, My Last Movie Star and The Ruins of California. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and son.