Taka-chan and I: A Dog's Journey to Japan by Runcible

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Overview

This story of adventure, bravery, daring, friendship, and honor begins when Runcible, a Weimaraner, digs a hole from Cape Cod all the way to Japan. There he meets Taka-chan, a little girl who has been imprisoned by a fierce and fearsome sea dragon. The dragon is angry that Taka-chan’s father and his fellow fishermen no longer pay him proper respect, but he is willing to free Taka-chan on one condition: Runcible must seek out the most loyal creature in all Japan and lay a flower at his feet. So Taka-chan and ...

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Overview

This story of adventure, bravery, daring, friendship, and honor begins when Runcible, a Weimaraner, digs a hole from Cape Cod all the way to Japan. There he meets Taka-chan, a little girl who has been imprisoned by a fierce and fearsome sea dragon. The dragon is angry that Taka-chan’s father and his fellow fishermen no longer pay him proper respect, but he is willing to free Taka-chan on one condition: Runcible must seek out the most loyal creature in all Japan and lay a flower at his feet. So Taka-chan and Runcible set out on a quest of discovery that takes them to the bustling heart of Tokyo. From palace grounds to noodle shop, Runcible explores the city, stopping at nothing to solve the mystery that will release his new friend from her captivity.

Taka-chan and I joins image and word in a tale that is as thrilling as it is poignant. Betty Jean Lifton, a lifelong student of Japanese folklore, and Eikoh Hosoe, a renowned Japanese photographer, have together created an enduring work of beauty that is fit to share a shelf with a classic like The Red Balloon.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...it is a dreamlike, charming tale of a dog who digs his way not to China, but to Japan, where he encounters a young girl who joins him in an adventurous quest to defeat the Black Dragon. Beautifully illustrated with black-and-white photos by Eikoh Hosoe, it’s an engaging tale of friendship, loyalty and the bonds we have in common, regardless of when, where and how we live." —The Montreal Gazette
Children's Literature - Janis Flint-Ferguson
This children's story is part fantasy and part legend, told from the perspective of a dog, Runcible, a Weimaraner who digs a hole in the Cape Cod sand. He tunnels down and when he comes back up, he is on the other side of the world on a lonely beach in Japan. There he meets young Taka-chan, a little girl who is being kept prisoner by a dragon. The two gain courage from each other and go to demand Taka-chan's release. The dragon likes their spirit and sends them on a task to go to Tokyo and find the most loyal person. If they can do so within one day, then the dragon will disappear and Taka-chan will be released. Of course the two take on the challenge and the tale continues as they journey through the streets of Tokyo to the most loyal. The story is a whimsical narrative which contrasts with the stunning black and white photographs of Runcible and Taka-chan. The photos are beautifully realistic, illustrating the setting and people of Japan. Of course, Runcible takes center stage as he is photographed throughout the adventure to help his friend. This is part of the New York Review Children's Collection and is the kind of classic story that should be read to children, introducing them to the elements of legend and folk-tale. Reviewer: Janis Flint-Ferguson
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590175026
  • Publisher: New York Review Books
  • Publication date: 4/3/2012
  • Series: New York Review Children's Collection Series
  • Pages: 64
  • Age range: 5 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Betty Jean Lifton discovered a passion for Japanese culture and folklore while living in Japan with her husband, the psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton, in the early 1960s. Out of that interest came many children’s books, including Kap the Kappa, Joji and the Dragon, The Rice-cake Rabbit, and The Dwarf Pine Tree. After the publication of Taka-chan and I, Lifton and Eikoh Hosoe collaborated on three more books: A Dog’s Guide to Tokyo, A Place Called Hiroshima, and Return to Hiroshima. In 1975 she published Twice Born: Memoirs of an Adopted Daughter, which marked the start of her second career as an adoption writer, counselor, and adoptee-rights advocate. She died in 2010, after many years living in New York City, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Wellfleet, Cape Cod.

Eikoh Hosoe is one of Japan’s preemenant photographers. His work can be found in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Georges Pompidou Center, the Smithsonian, and the Art Institute of Chicago, among other museums. In 2010 and 2011 Theatre of Memory, a retrospective exhibit of Hosoe’s dance photography, was shown at the Japan Foundation, Cologne and the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Runcible was the youngest in a litter of eleven Weimaraner puppies. He was born in Framingham, Massachusetts, and at the age of seven weeks was adopted by Betty Jean Lifton. It was from Mrs. Lifton that Runcible developed his nose for literature. He began digging up the material for this book during a two-year stay in Japan. Runcible is a firm believer in international understanding. “The world would be a better place if more dogs would travel,” he says.
      
Runcible and Eikoh Hosoe met one day when the photographer was walking on a lonely beach in Japan. Mr. Hosoe couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw a dog coming right out of the ground, but before Runcible’s departure from Japan the two had a long talk and Runcible told Mr. Hosoe about his adventure.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2012

    The photographs and story are so sweet! I love this book, it spe

    The photographs and story are so sweet! I love this book, it speaks to me in a way that I cannot even express. The reference to Hachiko was also a delightful surprise <3

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