A Dog Named Hachi

It was a long time ago when the dog’s story was publicized for the first time. It was even before World War II. Since then, every once in a while the dog is referred to in order remind people who have forgotten something important in their relationships, either with human friends or other species on earth. These things are faith and love. The dog’s name is Hachi. This dog’s story has been publicized in newspapers, school textbooks, TV, and magazines. In 1987, Japanese filmmakers made a movie based on the story of this dogs’ life. “Story of Hachiko” was the title of the Japanese movie. The story was so good that U.S.hachi-papa  filmmakers decided to make a U.S. version of the story. The film was released in 2007 staring Richard Gere as a professor and owner of the dog, Hachi.

This puppy was born in the northern part of Japan, Akita prefecture, Tohoku district, in 1923. A professor at Tokyo University adopted him in 1924. Professor Ueno loved dogs. He especially loved the Japanese dog breed, Akita. He had lost two Akita dogs before adopting Hachi. Professor Ueno loved Hachi. The professor took Hachi wherever he went. Hachi was a smart dog; he always remembered to walk the professor to the train station every morning. Then he would return home by himself after seeing his owner off at the station. He would then come back to the station to meet the professor returning home. This continued for about a year.

One day, while at the university, Professor Ueno had a sudden heart stroke and died. Hachi did not know his owner had died. He went to the station to meet his owner as usual. This happened more than just that first day.
He returned to the station and waited for his master to come off from the train every evening since his owner’s death. His owner changed several times after the professor’s death, but he did not stop going to the station to see his professor, who never came back.

A friend of the professor learned the story and decided to publish the article in a newspaper. The newspaper article struck people. Hachi became a hero dog for people in Tokyo. In 1934 his statue was built in front of Shibuya Station in Tokyo to remember the dog waiting for his owner’s return. His statue was destroyed in the later stages of World War II to supplement lacking metal for the Japanese Army in the war. The statue was rebuilt and put in the same place as before in 1948. I cannot forget to mention that many U.S. children gave a donation to build his first statue despite the U.S. being in war status with Japan that time. For rebuilding his second statue, the U.S. Army General Headquarters in Tokyo took the initiative to promote the rebuilding. Many U.S. citizens, both in Japan and the U.S., gave a donation to the rebuilding.


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