Man’s best friend

Let Hachiko:A Dog’sS­tory tug at your heart­strings.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - MOVIES -

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



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