Tani Japan Charity Project
About "Underdog" ?
a play on words...
Combining the specialty of Tani - UNDERwear, with our love of animals, especially DOGs. In English, the word "underdog" is often referred to the weaker party, the less fortunate in the society.
everyone loves an underdog...
is the charitable arm of Tani Japan started since 2020 Fall and Winter collection. Profit from the sale of this collection will go to fund projects that raise awareness and offer financial help to the underprivileged.
Dog Shelter, Tokyo, Japan
Sales proceeds (after deducting production cost) from the Underdog project in Japan will go to fund Tokyo-based Dog Shelter <dogshelter.jp>.
Dog Shelter was founded by Mrs Mina Kataoka in 2006. The small organization is run by volunteers only. Every dog they take in undergoes thorough medical check and home fostering before being matched to their new permanent home. Every prospective dog owner and their home are also vetted by the team.
Dog Shelter has re-homed over 900 dogs in the Kanto and Kansai area. Only 2 dogs have ever been returned to Dog Shelter following their formal adoption, testament to Mrs Kataoka and her team's serious and thorough work.
Animal welfare laws were revised in 2012, imposing stricter regulations on businesses trading animals. The amendment included the ability for animal control offices and dog wardens to refuse animals from pet shops and breeders.
The laws were again amended in June 2019 to enforce the implantation of microchip on sold animals, prohibit the sale of dogs and cats under 8 weeks old, and impose harsher penalties on animal abuse.
Dogs are popular in Japan: The number of pet dogs in the nation is estimated at over 10 million (2018) with 18.1% of Japanese household being dog owners. In Europe, where there has been a long history of animal rights, most pets are adopted from animal shelters or acquired from reputable breeders. In Japan, most dogs and cats are purchased from pet stores.
Tani Interns Interviewed Mina Kataoka, Founder of Dog Shelter Tokyo
We, Tani Interns, have gotten a chance to interview with Kataoka-san, Founder of Dog Shelter Tokyo, during the Tani Japan Spring and Summer Collection Exhibition held on 9/20-9/24. We have talked about what people should be careful with owning a pet, the regulation of microchips and collars, etc...
Every word from Kataoka-san who has helped many underprivileged dogs made a deep impression to the interns and should be heard by more people.
Click the pictures for the details ☟
Advise When Owning a Dog
Microchips and Collars
Inspiration of the Design
Years in the making, we are proud to introduce our Everyone Loves an Underdog® collection designed by artists Jody Asano and Yui Yamaoka, made with Tani's signature Silktouch material.
We hope with tireless efforts and long term commitment, we too can bring positive change to the “underdogs” in the society.
Artists and Collaboration Lists
Yui Yamaoka is a young artist who graduated from Kyoto City University of Arts in 2010. Her illustrations frequently feature different types of animals, meticulously drawn in fine lines, in fantastical environments.
Inspiration of the design:
Every Dog Breed is Lovable!
Cloudy is the partner of SS21's Everyone Loves an Underdog®︎ project. They offer local education, employment, and health care in Ghana and Kenya through their Ghanaian NPO . A portion of the proceeds from the Underdog Collection will be donated to Cloudy's philanthropy .
Inspiration of the design:
The colourful prints designed by Ghanaian artists are inspired by traditional African motifs. The print "mate masie" means "I understand", referring to wisdom and knowledge. It also represents taking into account other people's thoughts and opinion.
Jody Asano is an American multi-disciplinary artist currently based in Tokyo. She attended New York University and studied photography at Art Center College of Design. After years in photography, she has transitioned to illustration and design. She still works as a photographer upon request. Her work has been used in editorial, advertising, textiles, packaging, animation, and commercials by clients around the world.
Inspiration of the design:
Grey wolves are the wild ancestors of domesticated dogs. Once widespread across most of North America, they almost became extinct due to ruthless hunting. Years of strong conservation efforts have restored some of the wild wolves population in their former habitat.
Lecture Series at Sophia University
In Professor Audrey Morrell’s course “Animals and Society” in the Department of English Studies, we offered the following lectures to raise awareness and discussed with the students how we can improve animal welfare in Japan.
November 2020: Michelle Tang, Tani director, gave an overview of the latest in animal welfare and protection laws. Ms Okutani of Dog Shelter Osaka introduced their activities.
July 2021: We shared a part of the DVD “Dogs, Cats, and Human 2 (犬と猫と人間と２)” and led a discussion with the students afterwards. Mrs. Susan Sakuraba shared her experience of adopting her dog, Emma, from the Dog Shelter.
December 2021: Following the positive feedback from the previous session, expanded further review of the DVD and discussion of pet and farm animal welfare, planned and supported by extended Tani Japan team and supporters.
Recent Charitable Activities
In light of the recent coronavirus, Tani Japan has donated 1,500 non-medical face masks made with their signature Silktouch fabric to the following non-profit organizations in Japan:
1,000 units to Hands On Tokyo <https://www.handsontokyo.org/>
500 units to Saiseikai <https://www.saiseikai.or.jp/about/en/>