Pets in Japan, or at least dogs of a diminutive nature, are treated terrifically well, with fashion and fancy foodstuffs far from uncommon. Larger, less cuddly creatures on the other hand aren’t always lavished with such luxuries, and, in some of the worst cases, are left bereft of even the basics.
A decidedly sorry situation that this elephant in Odawara knows about all too well.
As, while it may have a cracking view of the castle,
it has precious little else to pass the time of day.
And although the sight of Umeko might well have been a dream to a few children too young to see such suffering,
her cruel concrete confinement and lack of companions surely means that after almost sixty years without stimulation,
the desperate beast’s death would surely be the only hope worth having.