Friday, March 4, 2011

Hachiko: Japan's most Faithful Dog - Thumbs Up!

A year ago, hubby and I bought a DVD, Hachiko. This is basically a Dog's Story, (a.k.a. Hachi: A Dog's Tale) a 2009 American drama film based on the true story of the faithful Akita Hachikō. It is a remake of the 1987 Japanese film Hachikō Monogatari.

And we never thought that we could be so touched and be moved in such ways. I personally cried and was caught into heavy tears. We simply admire how this man's best friend can value friendship and loyalty even better than how we see and feel its real essence and meaning.

So if you think you haven't got anything to savor this weekend, hubby and I recommend this movie as it has a lot of things to make us realize most of the important things about love, friendship, loyalty and love.

Have you watched this movie? If you do, please feel free to share it with us. If not, I suggest you do - as you would really be touched and be able to define friendship and loyalty at a much higher level. Enjoy! Happy weekend.

TOKYO, JAPAN - Loyalty, faithfulness and unconditional love are qualities that have earned dogs the title of "man's best friend". One particular Akita dog took these qualities to such an extreme, he has earned a place in the hearts of all Japanese people, and has kept that place for over sixty years!

Nestled amid hoards of harried commuters, a variety of shops and department stores, and a giant television screen that covers half a skyscraper, a life sized bronze statue of a dog can be found at Tokyo's busy Shibuya Train Station. Despite the diminutive size of the statue in comparison to the massive neon flash of the city, it isn't difficult to find. Millions of Tokyoites have been meeting at the landmark since 1934 and continue to do so today.

Chu-ken Hachiko (lit. the faithful dog Hachiko) was born in Akita in 1923 and was first brought to Tokyo in 1924. He and his owner, Mr. Eisaburo Uyeno, were inseparable friends right from the start. Each day "Hachi" would accompany Eisaburo, a professor at the Imperial University, to the train station when he left for work. Upon returning, the professor would find the dog patiently waiting, tail wagging. This happy routine continued until one fateful day in 1925, when the professor was taken ill on the job and unfortunately died before he could return home.

Despite the fact that Hachiko was less than two years old at the time, the bond between dog and owner was strong. Hachiko continued to wait each day at Shibuya station for a friend who was never coming back. At times, he wouldn't return home for days at a stretch.

The Akita became a familiar sight to commuters as he kept his vigil for over ten years. On March 8, 1935, Hachiko finally went to meet his master. He died on the very same spot he last saw his friend alive.

Statue Erected
Hachiko, Japan's most Faithful Dog, many people who passed the loyal dog each day were so touched by his story that they erected a statue in his honor in 1934. The famous artist Ando Teru was commissioned for the original bronzed sculpture, which was melted down during the war.

After the war, Hachiko was hardly forgotten. In 1948 The Society For Recreating The Hachiko Statue commissioned Ando Tekeshi, son of the original artist who has since passed away, to make a second statue.

Being a dog lover, the Hachiko statue has become an important pilgrimage for me each time I find myself in Tokyo. During my last visit with "Hachi," I encountered an old man who had also come to pay his respects. He told me in broken English "I knew him. I used to bring him treats. The station was much smaller then." With that he approached the statue, gave it a friendly pat, wiped a tear from his eye and slowly walked away.

Though Hachiko stood only two feet tall and weighed 92 pounds, the message he left on the importance of good friends is enormous. Hachiko's life has been portrayed in a book and motion picture (The Hachiko Story). Travelers going through Shibuya station can buy gifts and souvenirs of their favorite canine at the Hachiko Memorial Store called Shibuya No Shippo or "Tail of Shibuya." A colorful mosaic of Akitas at play covers the nearby wall of the station.

Hachiko may be gone but he will never be forgotten. The story behind the statue is one that has endured and continually warms the hearts of locals and tourists alike.

Read more details here.


Myraine :-)

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