Last night I sat down to watch a movie staring Richard Gere about a cute dog. That was all I knew of it, because every time the trailer had been on I hadn’t taken any real notice, apart from the fact that it looked like a girly kind of flick, How wrong could I possibly be?
Hachi is an amazing movie based on a real life story from the 1920’s in Tokyo and it’s utterly heart breaking…
The picture above is of Hachiko a Japanese Akita born on november 10th 1923 ,who was brought to Tokyo by his owner professor Hidesaburo Ueno in 1924. Each day Hachiko would faithfully walk to the Shibuya train station with the professor and then return each evening to wait for the train that would bring his master back home. This daily routine went on until a tragic event in May 1925 , when the professor died from a stroke whilst at work.
Hachikō was given away after the professor’s death, but would constantly manage to escape new owners, showing up time and again at his old home. Each day he would be seen waiting for the professor to return on his train.
After a while Hachiko began attracting the attention of other commuters. Many of the people who used the Shibuya train station had seen Hachikō and Professor Ueno together each day,and so they brought treats and food to him.
This continued for another 9 years, with Hachikō appearing every evening , precisely at the time when the professors train was due at the station.
One of the professors former students returned frequently to visit Hachiko and over the years published several articles about his remarkable loyalty. In 1932 one of these articles, published in Tokyo’s largest newspaper, put Hachiko into the spotlight, causing him to become 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. Teachers and parents used Hachikō’s vigil as an example for children to follow.
On march the 8th 1935 Hachiko’s long wait for his beloved professor was over, as he sadly passed away outside the train station ,still loyal to the very end.
A bronze statue in his likeness was erected at the Shibuya Station and can still be seen there to this day. The station entrance was later renamed "Hachikō-guchi", meaning "The Hachikō Exit.
Hachiko’s legendary faithfulness became a national symbol of loyalty throughout Japan and so his remains where stuffed and mounted to be kept forever on display at the national science museum of Japan in Tokyo. Each year on the anniversary of his death, 100’s still flock to pay their respects and remember his on going devotion to the professor in a special solemn ceremony in the exact spot where he used to patiently wait.
I cried constantly during this movie, as I said “It’s heart breaking”. There are no exciting action scenes or flashy special effects but as long as you have a box of tissues, then this very simply told story is well worth watching.