Wow! Such monument! So Chiba!

With their inquisitive personalities and dopey grins, it was inevitable that Shiba Inu would become the favorite dogs of the Japanese online community, and arguably the entire worldwide Internet. Even among these four-legged online stars, though, there’s one Shiba Inu whose fame has risen above all others: Kabosu.

You may not recognize Kabosu’s name, but if you’ve spent any significant amount of time online in the past 13 years, it’s an almost sure thing that you’ve seen her most famous picture, in which she’s relaxing on her owner’s sofa with a satisfied smirk and sly look in her eyes. That’s right, Kabosu is the dog seen in the very first “doge” meme. Now, in a case of international fame wrapping back around to local recognition, Kabosu’s home prefecture of Chiba, Tokyo’s neighbor to the east, has installed a monument saluting the mother of all doge memes.

Located in Sakura City’s Sakura Furusato Hiroba riverside park, the monument features a statue of Kabosu perched on a polished stone sofa, her paws crossed in front of her just like in the doge picture. There are also a trio of cat sculptures, ostensibly on the supposition that anyone who enjoys Internet pop culture enough to visit a meme monument probably likes cats too, which seems like pretty solid logic.

▼ The location of the Kabosu the Doge monument within Sakura Furusato Hiroba

Also part of the monument is a bilingual plaque, in English and Japanese, which reads:

“Kabosu’s date of birth isn’t known for sure. On November 2nd, 2008, she joined the family of Atsuko Sato. It was decided that this should be Kabosu’s third birthday. Then on February 13th, 2010, Kabosu graced the Internet, becoming the world’s most beloved meme. She is wholesome, calm, and accepting, inspiring her devotees to “Do Only Good Everyday.”

As the plaque alludes to, Kabosu’s actual birthday isn’t known, as her current owner, Atsuko Sato, adopted her from an animal shelter. Since her adoption, though, Kabosu’s birthday is celebrated each year on November 2, and that was the date on which the monument was officially opened to the public last month.

▼ Kabosu and Sato pose for a picture at the monument with Sakura mayor Sango Nishida

The bilingual plaque is a sign that Sakura hopes the monument will attract foreign visitors as well to the city, which is about 70 minutes east of downtown Tokyo and lies between the capital and Narita Airport. Other Sakura attractions include a beautiful bamboo grove, preserved historical residences, and the ruins of the castle where two farts led to the destruction of one of Japan’s most powerful samurai clans.

Related: Sakura Furusato Hiroba
Source, images: PR Times via IT Media
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