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Japanese dog show tours Natchez

NATCHEZ — On Friday, Japanese television star Dice-K was hobnobbing in the streets of downtown Natchez —he even found time to sniff a few rear-ends.

Dice-K, a Labrador, is the star of his own program that airs in Japan and Taiwan.

The show’s project coordinator, Mugi Morijiri, said in Japan, Dice-K is as well known as Lassie.

“He’s traveled all over Japan,” Morijiri said. “He’s very popular.”

And now that Dice-K has made his way across Japan, he’s come to the United States to begin filming episodes of Dice-K in USA.

In his latest venture, Dice-K will be shooting episodes from San Francisco to New York.

Pochi-Tama is the Japanese pet program of which Dice-K is the mascot.

Morijiri said Dice-K’s U.S. adventures are the show’s newest segment.

On Friday, Dice-K, his trainer and a camera crew were in the streets and shops of Natchez to interview people who bring their dogs to work with them.

One of crew’s first stops was Mrs. Holder’s Antiques on Franklin Street.

Storeowner Larry Holder and his English Mastiff, Belle, were featured.

“They were an interesting group,” Holder said of the film crew.

Watching the group work was a little like a watching a photographer that works with infants.

The photographers try to accomplish a goal; and the infants couldn’t care less.

Except Dice-K‘s photographers speak Japanese.

While the show’s reporter Hideki Matsumoto interviewed Holder through a translator, the crew was generating a strange array of noises to keep the dogs focused in the direction of the camera.

Holder said he was glad to be able to participate in the show but was not exactly sure what the program was about.

Due to a language barrier, it’s a bit difficult to determine specifically what the show is about.

“It’s all about animals and their interactions,” Morijiri said.

Prior to Dice-K’s arrival in Natchez he was in New Orleans where he, and the crew, went on a swamp tour.

And while it’s not clear how Dice-K felt about Natchez, Morijiri said he and the crew liked Natchez, particularly the antebellum homes.

And in the spirit of the South, Morijiri said the crew came to Mississippi to shoot Dice-K experiencing some Southern Hospitality.

Dice-K and his entourage will be leaving town today, headed for Clarksdale.