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Saturday At The Movies

2012/07/21

This clip is from the 1987 Japanese film Hachiko monogatari (a.k.a. Hachi-ko), which tells the true story of an Akita’s devotion to his master.

Hachiko was born in Odate, Japan in November 1923, a white male Akita dog. At the age of two months, he was sent to the home of Professor Ueno of the Agricultural Department of the Tokyo University. The professor’s home was in… the Shibuya district of Tokyo. The professor commuted to the agricultural department in Komaba and the agricultural experimental station in Nishihara.

Tragedy struck on May 21, 1925, when Dr. Ueno did not return because he had suffered a stroke and died at the university. Hachiko was eighteen months old. The next day and for the next nine years, Hachiko returned to the station and waited for his beloved master before walking home, alone. Nothing and no one could discourage Hachiko from maintaining his nightly vigil. It was not until he followed his master in death, in March l934, that Hachiko failed to appear in his place at the railroad station.

Hachiko was sent to homes of relatives or friends, but he always continued to await his master, who was never to return, at the train station.

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An American remake of the movie, starring Richard Gere, is on Netflix. To read more about Hachiko’s story, and to see pictures of the real Hachiko, click here.

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