Taka-chan and IA Dog's Journey to Japan by Runcible
by Runcible, as told to Betty Jean Lifton, photographs by Eikoh Hosoe
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.
...[I]t 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