Taro and Jiro Story !
In Oct. 1955, 3 Huskie-dogs were born in Hokkaido
In those days, Japan was thinking which dog-species is suitable for a dog-sled in the Antarctic-Continent.
In 1956, Japan selected to use Huskie-dog for a dog-sled. And, They investigated all 1000 Huskie-dogs in Japan. Huskie-dogs suitable for a dog-sled were only 40-50 dogs. In last selection, 23 dogs were selected for a dog-sled. 3 brother-dogs; Taro, Shiro, Saburo, also were selected.
And, 23 dogs were trained strictly in Hokkaido.
But, Saburou, one of 3 brother-dogs, was died in strictly training.
In Nov. 1956, The First Antarctic-Expedition Party left by the icebreaker-ship"Souya" from Yokohama with 53 members and 22 well-trained Sakhalin-dogs.
Usually, Huskie-dog was not strong hot-temperature around the equator in south-east asia. So, The icebreaker-ship"Souya" was equipped "an air-conditioned room"in the ship.
In 1957, The Souya arrived to the Antarctic-Continent. But, 3 dogs were dropped by a medical-check and went back to Japan.
11members and 19 dogs were selected for wintering-party group
In Feb. 1958, The Second Antarctic-Expedition Party came to the Antarctic-Continent for changing members. But, They could not arrive to the Antarctic Observation Base a bad-weather. As a result, The first wintering-party group went to the ship by small-snowmobiles.
Shiro and her puppies could go back to the ship with decreasing some liquid-fuel as an equal amount of Shiro and her puppies. But, The members could not help other remaining 15dogs. mai-wai. 15 dogs were left with chains.
The ship had waiting the weather improving to just before the deadline. The icebreaker-ship"Souya" was icebound by many thick-ice on the sea. They gave up to help 15 dogs and went back to Japan. The icebreaker-ship"Souya" succeeded to escape from floating-ices by Soviet's Icebreaker-ship"Obi'"'s help.
But,..... In Japan, They were criticized leaving 15 dogs in the Antarctica. The 15 dogs' situation were hopeless.
In Jan. 1959, The Third Antarctic-Expedition Party arrived to the Antarctic-Continent. Helicopter-Pilot confirmed 7 dogs died with chains.
But, He discovered 2 dogs running around the Antarctic Observation Base.
2 dogs ran up to the helicopter-pilot. But, 2 dogs became big-bodies than before. So, The Pilot couldn't distinguish at first glance each dog's name.
And then, He called Mr.Kitamura; a dog-trainer waiting in the ship. Mr.Kitamura arrived to the Antarctic Observation Base. First, 2 dogs were cautious of Mr.Kitamura.
But, He called dog's name with smooth dog's hair down, 2 dogs reacted his call"Taro"and "Jiro"with wagging his tail. Mr.Kitamura has guessing 2 dogs survived with capturing a penguin and dung of seals. The truth, Mr.Kitamura witnessed 2 dogs capturing two penguins.
Anyway, Other 6 dogs were still missing.
Jiro and Taro stayed in the Antarctic Observation Base until 1960. But, Jiro passed away by a disease in the Antarctic Observation Base on Jul. 09th. 1960,
Taro went back to Japan with the forth Antarctic-Expedition Party on 04th May 1961. And, Taro was raised in Hokkaido University from 1961 to 1970.
In 1970, Taro passed away of old age, 14years 7 months.
Taro's puppies were provided to applicants in all over Japan in 1970's. Now, Taro's grandchild-dogs has increasing in Japan.
The 19 dog's name list in the first Antarctic-Expedition Party
Aka(died in Antarctica), Anko(missing), Kuro(died in Antarctica), Goro(died in Antarctica), Jack(missing). Shiro(missing), Shiroko(come back), Jiro(died in Antarctica), Taro(come back), Tetsu(died in Antarctica), Deri(missing), Hibu noKuuma(missing), Fuuren no Kuma(missing), Besu(,died in Antarctica), Bekku(,died in Antarctica), Pochi(,died in Antarctica), Moku(died in Antarctica), Monbetsu no Kuma(died in Antarctica), Riki(missing)
This story was made into a movie in 1983. And, was recommended by the Ministry of Education. The Japanese-title is "Nankyoku-Monogatari". Its meaning is "The Antarctica-Story". In 2006, The Walt Disney Company in U.S.A also produced by remaking using American movie-stars. The title is "Eight Below".
The movie "Taro and Jiro"in "The Antarctica-Story"
Now in the Antarctica, 3 Antarctic Observation Bases are in 3 places.
1. The Shouwa-Antarctic Observation Base
2. The Mizuho-Antarctic Observation Base
3. The Asuka-Antarctic Observation Base
Headquaters of these bases is the National Institute of Polar Research
In this April, The 49th Antarctic-Expedition Party came back to Yokohama-port by the icebreaker-ship "Shirase".
The 50th Antarctic-Expedition Party will leave for the Antarctica in this autumn again.
1. The icebreaker-ship "Souya" 1957-1960
2. The icebreaker-ship"Fuji" 1965-1983
3. The icebreaker-ship"Shirase" 1983-2008.......Last voyage of "Shirase"was retired from the Antarctica-ship in April 2008. After this, The Shirase is planning to exhibit in the marine-museum. < This ship has come to Naha-Port in Okinawa.>
4. The New icebreaker-ship " New Shirase Ⅱ" 2009-.........
You can watch the real-time LIVE-PICTURES around the Shouwa-base through the live-camera 24 hours at all times everyday