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Royal Court  Emperor with Pekes.
Royal Court Emperor with Pekes.
Geisha with Peke.
Geisha with Peke.

Chinese reverse glass painting.

Geisha with Peke.
Geisha with Peke.
Geisha and her dog.
Geisha and her dog.

Main detail of a hanging scroll; ink and color on silk, first half 19th century, Japan, by unknown artist.

Kiyokata Kaburagi (1878-1972).
Kiyokata Kaburagi (1878-1972).
Child riding a dog.
Child riding a dog.

Japanes Edo period. made by the Japanese artist Kitao Shigemasa,1739 - 1820. Woodblock print (nishiki-e), ink and color on paper. 37.7 x 25.2 cm (14 13/16 x 9 15/16 in.) The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts (USA)

Pekingese, circa 1930.
Pekingese, circa 1930.

Pekingese Dog sitting on a cushion thinking about the bird in the cage behind him by Ohara Hoson.

Courtesan and Pekingese.
Courtesan and Pekingese.

Dog at New Year by the Japane artist Totoya Hokkei (1780 - 1850). Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Japanese Chin.
Japanese Chin.

The Japanese Chin is an ancient breed that, as the name suggests, originated in the East, probably China. It is likely that the first specimens to arrive in Japan were presented as gifts by the Emperor of China to the royal court. For centuries these dogs were kept by the nobility and not seen outside the palace walls. They were bred to be as small as possible so that could be carried in the sleeves of the ladies kimonos or kept in cages, rather like birds.

Two women playing with a Lap dog.
Two women playing with a Lap dog.

China, 8th entury.

Vintage picture of Lo-Sze.
Vintage picture of Lo-Sze.
Lo-Sze.
Lo-Sze.
Japanese Chins, 1898.
Japanese Chins, 1898.
Japanese Chin.
Japanese Chin.
Ladies of the Imperial Court.
Ladies of the Imperial Court.

They holding two Pekingese.

Pekingese.
Pekingese.

The origins of the Pekingese dog began with the breeding in the Chinese imperial court, perhaps as early as the Han Dynasty (206 BCE - 220 CE) period. The Chinese emperor wanted to replicate the Buddha's experience of taming a wild lion, symbolizing passion and aggression. Buddha's tame lion would "follow at his heels like a faithful dog," according to legend. In a somewhat circular story, then, the Han emperors bred a dog to make it look like a lion - a lion that acted like a faithful dog.

Tibet.
Tibet.

This is an original 1921 black and white halftone print of a portrait of the wife of the governor of Lower Kham in Tibet. The dog in the background could be a Pug. The dog in the front could be a Happa Dog or a Japanse Chin.

Meigi (Tondaya Yachiro), 1907.
Meigi (Tondaya Yachiro), 1907.

Japanese Chin originated in China and was brought over to Japan around 732 CE. A favourite among 18th Century Courtesans they were called ‘sleeve-dogs’ or Chien de la Cour in French, as they were carried in the large sleeves of Japanese ladies.

Meigi (Tondaya Yachiro).
Meigi (Tondaya Yachiro).

The famous geisha with her Japanese Chin.