Man’s best friend
Let Hachiko:A Dog’sStory tug at your heartstrings.
ONE of the most famous meeting spots in Tokyo is located at the Shibuya Train Station and is widely known as the Hachi Exit.
On the spot is a bronze sculpture erected in 1948 of a Japanese Akita dog named Hachiko, whose legendary faithfulness became a national symbol of loyalty in Japan.
Known in Japanese as chuken Hachiko (faithful dog Hachiko), it would show up at the train station and wait for its university professor master to return from work every day. It continued to do so nine years after the professor’s passing, come rain or shine.
Hachiko’s devotion spread far and wide until it eventually became an annual event where dog lovers make their way to Tokyo’s Shibuya railroad station every April 8 to honour its loyalty with a solemn ceremony of remembrance.
Two other statues of Hachiko stand in Odate where the dog was born in 1923: in front of the Odate Station and the Akita Dog Museum.
The real Hachiko that died in Tokyo in 1935 is exhibited at the National Science Museum of Japan in Ueno.
The dog’s heartwarming story inspired Hachiko: A Dog’s Story last year, an American adaptation of the 1987 Japanese blockbuster film Hachiko Monogatari.
Directed by Lasse Hallström and filmed in Rhode Island, Hachiko: A
Parker Wilson (Richard Gere) sharing popcorn with his faithful Akita dog Hachi in Dog’s Story stars the film’s producer Richard Gere, 61, as Parker Wilson, a university professor of music, and Joan Allen, 54, as his wife.
In the production notes, Gere shared that when he first read the script, he knew he couldn’t turn it down.
“It’s not a movie that one would expect that I would be drawn to but when I read it I cried like a baby.
“I think there is something powerfully iconic and mysterious about this movie, and this story of a dog that waits. There is something in the makeup of our hearts that