Hachiko: A Dog’s Story Movie Review

January 15, 2014 – 05:46 am

First it was Seabiscuit, then it was Marley and Me Now a recent movie about the bonds of love and loyalty between an owner and his dog had me balling my eyes out during most of the movie. I never, ever cry during a movie, but with this one I was a mess. Hachiko: A Dog’s Tale (2009) went straight to DVD, and for the life of me, I can’t understand why. If Hachiko had made it into the theaters, it surely would have won a few awards. This movie has to be one of the best adaptations of a true life story I have ever watched.

Hachiko is based on an Akita Inu dog named Hachiko, who was owned by a professor of agriculture at the University of Tokyo in 1924. The story goes as follows:

From Wikipedia:
During his owner’s life Hachikō saw him out from the front door and greeted him at the end of the day at the nearby Shibuya Station. The pair continued their daily routine until May 1925, when Professor Ueno did not return on the usual train one evening. The professor had suffered from a cerebral hemorrhage at the university that day. He died and never returned to the train station where his friend was waiting. Hachikō was loyal and every day for the next nine years he waited sitting there amongst the town’s folk.

Hachikō was given away after his master’s death, but he routinely escaped, showing up again and again at his old home. Eventually, Hachikō apparently realized that Professor Ueno no longer lived at the house. So he went to look for his master at the train station where he had accompanied him so many times before. Each day, Hachikō waited for Professor Ueno to return until his death in 1935. Haciko became the national symbol of loyalty.

Hachiko: A Dog’s Story is told in near perfection. Hachi arrives all the way from Japan as a puppy to the United States, but is lost and found walking around the train station by Parker Wilson, played by Richard Gere. Parker takes the puppy home until he can find the owner. His wife Cate, played by Joan Allen, is not pleased. But after a few days, the little Hachi brings laughs and joy into their household. Parker tries to teach Hachi to play fetch, but Hachi refuses, because Parker’s associate, Ken (Cary-Hiruki Tagawa) explains how Hachi is a proud and regal dog. He goes on to say how the bond between Parker and Hachi will never be broken.

Months go by, and before Hachi turns one, he has a new trick. He has figured out how to go back and forth to the train station as Parker goes into work everyday. For the next year, Hachi escorts Parker to the train station, then at 4:55pm, he is there waiting for Parker to come home. Carl, the ticket booth conductor, played by Jason Alexander, is not amused, but most of the commuters, as well as the hot dog vendor and bookstore owner across the street from the station think it’s delightful.

Source: kbgbabbles.com


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  • Avatar Holly The real Hachiko. Akita or Shiba Inu?
    Nov 16, 2010 by Holly | Posted in Dogs

    Ok, so I was at my local pet expo and was showing my mother the Shiba Inu dogs. I told her how the puppy from the movie "Hachi" was actually a Shiba playing an Akita.
    Anyways, the breeder heard me say that and I e …d better or something. I've looked it up and found nothing to support her theory. So, my question is, has anyone else heard something like this? WAS Hachiko in fact a Shiba?

    I might add, I love both breeds.

    • Hachiko was an Akita. No Japanese would mistake the two breeds.

      In the Richard Gere movie, the puppy did appear to be a Shiba Inu puppy, which I thought was ridiculous; surely they could have found an Akita puppy to film that one scene.

  • Avatar W00T I GRADUATED !! Why is the shiba inu dog in hachiko movie soooo beautiful?
    Dec 31, 2009 by W00T I GRADUATED !! | Posted in Dogs

    In hahiko a Dog's true story movie , did they make it more attractive for he movie, or will it be just as Beautiful if i see it personally?
    oh sorry guys i meant akita, source must a made a mistake

    • That's not a story about a Shiba Inu...it's an Akita...they are beautiful, that's why.
      Not a breed for everyone though, and not a breed for inexperienced handlers.

      (I had my Akita for 12 years before he died of old age...the first time I saw an Akita it took my breath away.)