The Real Hachikō
Hachikō is one of the most famous dogs in Japan ever. He didn't live in this century but his life was that of a legend.
Hachikō was born in Udate, Japan in 1923. He was first brought to Tokyo in 1924. He and his owner, Mr. Eisaburo Ueno, were inseparable friends right from the start. Every day, Mr. Ueno would go to work at Imperial University where he worked as a professor. Each day "Hachi" would go along. Upon returning, the professor would find the dog patiently waiting at Shibuya Station, tail wagging. This happy routine continued until one fateful day in 1925, when the professorhad a stroke on the job and unfortunately died before he could return home.
When this happened, Hachikō was taken to a new home. However, no one understood how strong the bond he had with his master was. He kept running away, first to the house where his master lived, and then, realizing that he wasn't back, he ran to the station at the precise time the train his master's train would arrive. Hachikō waited for 10 years and passed away on March 8, 1935.
Soon, many of the Shibuya Station commuters noticed this dog. There was curiosity on why he was there and one of the professor's students followed him to the Kobayashi home where he learned the history of Hachikō's life. From his frequent visits, he wrote a bunch of articles on Akitas as well as Hachikō. Before these articles were written, there were only 30 Akitas in existence in Japan. This dog brought the breed into the spotlight
In 1932 one of these articles, published in Tokyo's largest newspaper, threw the dog into the national spotlight. Hachikō became a national sensation. His faithfulness to his master's memory impressed the people of Japan as a spirit of family loyalty all should strive to achieve. His story is frequently told to children of all ages by parents and teachers alike. He is such a national treasure, a bronze statue was erected in his honor at the Shibuya Train Station. This was in 1934, a year before he died.
The most famous examples are Shibuya Station has become a famous tourist destination with 2.4 million travelers going through there each day. Every year on April 8th, there is a special ceremonly to honor this dog's life.
There are many books that have been written and movies dedicated to Hachikō. There's even a Scooby Doo cartoon called Scooby Doo and the Samurai Sword. On December 18, a new movie starring Richard Gere will be coming out. It is a remake of the 1987 original Japanese movie called Hachikō Monogatari, a huge hit in the country of Japan. You can see the trailer below:
So my question to you all is have any of you seen this spot it Japan? I wish I could say I have. One day, I hope to go. Well, thanks for stopping in. I hope your weekend is off to a good start.
If you would like to learn more about this be sure to visit:
HHachikō's Facebook Page
Inspiration for the Movie
Japan National Tourism Organization
Hachikō: A Dog's Story Release Dates