Am/Can/Bda Ch. Kenjiko Royal Tenji ROMPX
While showing Akitas, I started watching Akitas and decided to subscribe to an Akita magazine. There was a picture of Royals Aiko Sakura when she made Sho-Dan with her sire, Fukumoto’s Ashibaya Kuma who was the only Go-Dan in this country. There was an advertisement that Royals Aiko Sakura (she was never shown after Akitas were recognized) was to be bred to Ch. Chaguma’s Yokozuna Tenshu. I called the Nunns and they told me Ben Nakagawa, Tenshu’s owner, had pick of males. I called him and he said the pup was boarding in a kennel because he could keep only a couple of dogs at home.
The puppy was for sale, so I bought him.
He came out of the airline crate and I knew he was the best Akita I had ever seen, even if he did have big holes and notches in his ears. Later I found out a full-grown dog had bitten right through both his ears.
Kenjiko Royal Tenji “JoJo” was to be the foundation for Frerose Akitas.
Growing up, he was a good puppy, he chewed up only one sock in his puppy-hood. Throughout his whole life, one of his favorite things to do to you, as he laid stretched out on the floor, was to stick out his paw and try to trip you, then he would grumble at you as if laughing. All through his career, he loved the applause people would give him and he would show and show. He always slept under the bed and when I stayed in motels, he would slide under in the night, then in the morning I would have to lift up the bed so he could get out.
JoJo was raised with Akitas and all his life he had a fondness for them at shows.
I was in the midst of moving from Brooklyn to Shohola, building a kennel there, when a young girl, Janet Greenspan who loved dogs, came over to see JoJo and asked it she could show him, although she had never shown a dog in her life. I said, “Give it a try!” She took him to match shows and he won the Group every time.
At ten months, she showed him in his first point show. He won Best of Breed. He finished soon after that. Janet put JoJo in the top ten Akitas two years in a row. She married and moved back to Florida, after which he was shown by many different handlers, mostly friends whom I have known for years.In 1975 JoJo went to Bermuda and became first Akita to be a Bermuda champion. He finished with a Group 2 and 3 placement. His son who lives in Bermuda became a second champion.
JoJo also went to Canada in 1975 to the Montreal International Dog Shows, the first year Akitas were recognized. All the top Akitas from the Midwest and East were at these shows, including the number one Akita in the U.S. It was quite a thrill to see all these American champions in the Open class. JoJo won and became the First Am/Can/Bda Akita champion. He was number one Akita in Canada from 1975 until 1979 except for one year when he was number two. JoJo was always shown in Canada by John Fabian.
In the U.S. he was in the top ten every year he was shown. He was number one in 1978 in the U.S. and Canada both, the only year he was campaigned. He retired May 11, 1980 with a Group 4 at Lancaster Kennel Club.
In 1982, JoJo, almost ten years old, went to the Akita National Specialty, shown by his friend John Fabian and won Best of Breed from the Veterans class of 174 Akitas. He went on to win a Group 2 and beat over 1,000 Working dogs at Ravena Kennel Club in Ohio, the biggest dog show in the country that year. His granddaughter was Winners Bitch.
In 1983, JoJo, almost eleven, went again to the Akita National Specialty in New Lenox, Illinois. This time, shown by Diane Murphy, he won Best of Breed and Group 1. His great-granddaughter was Best of Opposite Sex and another great-granddaughter was Best of Winners.
JoJo amassed over 300 Bests of Breed, 49 Group placements, 48 of them in the old Group and 1 Group I in the now Group. No other Akita, living or dead, has ever accomplished that feat.
He achieved Register of Merit from the Akita Club of America, also ROMPX from Reference Works Publishers, Certificate of Merit from Raritan River Akita Club, five awards from Dogs in Canada, and four Certificates of Distinction from The Working Dog.
JoJo's son. Am/Can Ch. Frerose's Mean Machine, Am/Can CD was the first Akita to obtain these four titles. That was in 1978.
JoJo's daughter at ten months of age was Am/Can Ch. Frerose's Gypsy Rose ROM, first Akita to win Puppy Group in Canada, and her sister Ch. Frerose's Sarah Lei ROM, tied top Akita bitch producer of all time.
His son, Ch. Frerose's Kodiak King, was Best of Breed at the 1985 Akita Club of Canada National Specialty. Several of JoJo's grand and great-grand kids have won Nationals and specialty shows. His sons, grandsons and great-grandsons have been in the top ten every year, many number one.
He has 21 champions and several more pointed in the U.S., twice that in Canada, and many more in Bermuda, Mexico, South America and Europe. JoJo has left his impact on the Akita breed in every way.
- Notes by Fred Duane -
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