Hachi-Ko (a.k.a. “Hachi: A Dog’s Tale”) is the story of an Akita Inu who was adopted by Professor Hidesaburo Ueno in Shibuya (Tokyo), Japan.
Hachiko and his master developed a very strong bond during the time they had with each other. Their bond was so strong that every evening Hachiko would go to the Shibuya Station to meet his master, rain, wind, or shine. In May 1925 Professor Ueno died while giving a lecture. As usual, Hachi waited at the train station for his master, only never to be greeted by him again.
After his master’s death Hachi was given away several times but always escaped to find his way back to his home to greet his master. Hachi realized that his master didn’t live there anymore so he went to the train station to greet his master, like he always did. Hachi continued his dedicated routine until his death in 1935 (almost 10 years after the professor’s death). It was later ruled that his death was caused by advanced cancer.
In April 1934 a bronze statue of Hachi was erected in his honor at Shibuya Station where Hachi waited for his master’s return. It was recycled during World War II but in 1948 the Society for Recreating the Hachiko Statue comissioned Takeshi Ando, the son of the original artist, to make a second statue. The statue went up in August 1948. The station also renamed the entrance to “Hachiko-guchi” meaning “The Hachiko Entrance / Exit”. The exact spot where Hachi waited is permanently marked with bronze paw prints and a plaque describing Hachi’s dedication.
Today, Hachko is a Japanese symbol of loyalty and dedication.
In 1987 the “Hachi-ko” movie was released in Japan. Tadaomi Miya was credited for being the dog trainer on the set.
In 2009 the US released “Hachi: A Dog’s Tale” starring Richard Gere (as Parker Wilson, based on the professor) and Joan Allen (as Cate Wilson, based on the professor’s wife). The movie never got a US theatrical debut but has been released in several other nations grossing over $45 million (US).