Kai, the iconic white dog featured in TV commercials for mobile carrier SoftBank Corp., died of natural causes on Thursday. He was 16.
Kai, a Hokkaido, endeared himself to living room audiences with his cute gestures in his role as the first-generation father in the fictional Shirato family. The commercials started airing in 2007.
In the ads, the family members were played by celebrities including actresses Kanako Higuchi and Aya Ueto. Kai’s lines were dubbed by seasoned actor Kinya Kitaoji.
The dog had recently retired from making commercials and his role was taken over by his sons, Kaito and Kaiki.
In a statement, SoftBank said it was very grateful for Kai’s work and prayed for his soul to rest in peace.