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Hachiko

February 5, 2010

Hachiko

I’ve just finished watching Hachiko: A dogs story and I’m not unashamed to say that I spent most of the film with tears streaming down my face.

I challenge anyone who has a heart not to cry during this film. It’s not saccharine , not schmalzy but just a retelling of what I thinking is one of the best real stories of love and loyalty of all time.

I myself have an Akita Inu, the breed of dog that Hachiko was and the film portrays their noble, loyal, steadfast character thats tempered by just the right amount of aloofness and strength, When you give your heart to an Akita then that Akita is yours for all time and this film portrays it in a modern retelling of the story.

Hachiko

The real Hachiko, pictured left was born c 1923 and was owned by a Japanese professor Hidesaburō Ueno who in 1924, moved to Tokyo with Hachiko. The professor worked in the agriculture department at the University of Tokyo and everyday for the next year and a half Hachikō saw him off from the front door and greeted him at the end of the day at the nearby Shibuya Station. The pair continued their daily routine until May 1925, when Professor Ueno did not return on the usual train one evening. The professor had suffered a fatal heart attack at the university that day where he died and never returned to the train station where his friend was waiting. Hachiko was given away after his beloved master’s death, but he routinely escaped, showing up again and again at his old home. Eventually, Hachiko apparently realized that Professor Ueno no longer lived at the house. So he went to look for his master at the train station where he had accompanied him so many times before. Each day for the next 10 years, Hachiko waited for Professor Ueno to return going back at the exact same time every evening, come rain or shine, to try and find his friend among the commuters at the station. Hachiko became a permanent fixture at the train station and attracted the attention and love of other commuters. who brought him treats and food. In 1932 an article, published in Tokyo’s largest newspaper, threw Hachiko into the national spotlight. He became a national sensation, his faithfulness to his master’s memory impressed the people of Japan as a spirit of family loyalty. Hachiko died at the age of 11, and was found on the streets near the station still waiting for his master to come home. Hachikō’s legendary faithfulness became a national symbol of loyalty in Japan and a statue of him was erected at Shibuya Station where is still stands today as a testament to the loyalty of him and his breed of dog. Each year on April 8, Hachiko’s devotion is honored with a solemn ceremony of remembrance at the station and hundreds of dog lovers from the world over come to pay tribute to his memory and loyalty. The statue, I have been told by a japanese friend is where people like to meet and congregate and it keeps the story in peoples minds.

I must say the retelling of the film into the US worked OK, way better than expected, the dogs were superb and the acting as well. Richard Gere was good..and the three dogs (One as puppy (CUTE !), one as a young dog and another as Hachiko in old age were superb examples of the breed). Only one small gripe was that in real life Hachiko was a white Akita, in the film they use red Akita’s..but it’s a small point that only an Akita fan would pick fault with !!!

Watch the film and weep !!! I did…. Akita’s are the most amazing dogs I’ve ever encountered and I’m privileged to have a superb example of one in my life.

Molly - my Akita

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. February 6, 2010 19:10

    Molly is beautiful. Her long legs make her look very tall.

  2. akaash permalink
    March 15, 2010 12:54

    i want a japanese akita,, ive got an american one crossed with half a wolf

  3. May 1, 2010 17:01

    awww hachiko si sooo cute!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. anna permalink
    June 4, 2010 10:43

    why hachiko’s master died so earlly?why professor’s wife moved and not took care hachiko continuly? they cant treat him like this make hachiko surrended at station until die.i cryed when i thought it again.if master can lived more 10 years,everything is different.

    • monster permalink
      June 5, 2010 20:26

      anna, cerebral hemorrhage can happen to anyone. the wife may not be very fond of the dog and just brings memories of her dead husband so her resort was to give Hachi to someone else. And Akitas are somewhat stubborn and if they want something they’ll do it. So the family just let him do what he wants. The only mistake here was nobody made Hachiko realize that his master is dead. He didn’t see the body. All Hachiko knew was that his master went in the station but hadn’t came out yet so he did what he supposed to do. Wait. Sucks how the dog was practically clueless on what was going on. He was confused.

      • Anonymous permalink
        June 11, 2013 13:35

        You are so right ! I’ve been searching everywhere to find info about if they had done this, allow the poor dog to be at his owners viewing or burial. It may have made all the difference to Hachiko and he may still have gone to the station for a time.

  5. ABHIMANYU SINGH POKHRIYAL permalink
    January 30, 2011 19:41

    i saw d movie today on HBO, i m a hardcore dog lover..i tried to control my emotions while watching d movie but at last i wept with continuous long tears..picture is over but the face of the dog is still coming in front of me n i am continuously weeping..n i love to weep in memory of HACHIKO..hope every night in my dreams i can meet HACHIKO n give my unconditional love to him..I LOVE YOU HACHIKO!!

  6. azrin permalink
    March 25, 2011 03:21

    yeah…i just watched it…if i could find love as loyal as this…

  7. January 5, 2012 07:36

    Way cool, some great points! I appreciate you making this post available, the rest of the blog is also well done. I hope you have a wonderful day.

  8. January 5, 2012 07:36

    Liked them on FB

  9. January 5, 2012 07:36

    Rasplata noastra este bucuria celor pe care i-am ajutat. Victoria lor in lupta cu viata ne face campioni. Pe mine, pe noi, pe ei toti.

  10. Anonymous permalink
    March 7, 2013 17:21

    Una gran historia.

  11. May 24, 2013 08:34

    Great article. I will be going through many of these issues as well.
    .

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