Hachi fans will be delighted to learn that on March 8th, a new Hachiko statue will be unveiled! The bronze memorial will be erected on the University of Tokyo campus where Hidesaburo Ueno (1871-1925), a professor of agriculture once taught.
The most famous Hachiko statue is at Shibuya Station, and is one of the most popular meeting places in Japan. It depicts Hachiko patiently waiting for his master's return. The original statue was erected in 1934, but was melted down for its much-needed metal during the war. It was replaced in 1948 and still presides over the Shibuya Station entry.
This latest statue, conceived by the Agricultural department of the University of Tokyo, highlights professor Ueno’s accomplishments in agricultural engineering, and depicts the joyful affection between the two friends.
Professor Ueno's advances towards the technology of arable land readjustment and drainage was utilized for the imperial capital revival after the 1923 Great Kantō earthquake of 1923. Ueno died of a cerebral hemorrhage in May 1925 while giving a lecture.
A fundraising effort on the Internet raised about half of the targeted 10 million yen ($99,000) so far, and the group asked Tsutomu Ueda, a sculptor in Nagoya, to create a model for the statue. Ueda, 39, was thrilled about creating Hachiko's sculpture.
“I have loved dogs since I was very young and became familiar with Hachiko through movies and by other means,” said Ueda. “My biggest aim will be to convey a sense of connection between the two.”
“We insisted on a design that depicts the person (Ueno) and his dog looking into each other's eyes and coveys the affection and bond between them,” said Sho Shiozawa, a professor of irrigation drainage and rural engineering at the university. “We hope the statue will become something of a mascot at the university and draw many visitors.”
Overshadowed by the professor's love of Hachiko, many fans are not aware of the scholastic and professional accomplishments of professor Hisaburo Ueno.
This monument will highlight his considerable efforts in the rebuilding of Japan.
Sira reports there's a new book titled, "Animal Stars: Behind the Scenes with your Favorite Animal Actors". Chapter 6 is written by Mark Harden, one of the talented animal trainers of the Hachi actors. Harden describes the details of the role played by each of them. You will learn about the background work in making the young 4-year old Forrest look and "act" like a very old Hachi. Harden shares how he enjoys "the audible gasp from first-time viewers when Forrest, as old Hachi, makes his entrance" in the movie. He says that "Hachi" was one of the best experiences of his career and adds, "I will pass down memories of it to my grandchildren." (Many thanks to "Special Hachi Supporters" such as Sira who continually promote the timeless story of Hachi!)
Sira heard that the train tracks (known as the "Slatersville Secondary") will be removed in the coming years due to maintenance costs (bridges, grade crossings, signaling, etc). Thank you for sharing these images with us!
To view location images below, please click location titles.
1. "Bedridge" Train Station (there is a statue of Hachi in the circle where he waited) :
1 High St., Woonsocket, RI 02895
2. "Bedridge" Train Station (view of track and platform):
3. Downtown (where Parker walks home carrying puppy Hachi):
Arnold St and Main St., Woonsocket, RI 02895
4. Parker and Cate's home:
High St and Walley St., Bristol, RI 02809
5. Andy and Michael's home:
Glen Road, Woonsocket, RI 02895
6. Road down which Hachi runs after escaping from Andy's house:
Glen Road, Woonsocket, RI 02895
7. Milton and Myra's butcher shop:
Arnold St and Sayles St., Woonsocket, RI 02895
8. Train tracks (that Hachi walks on after running away from Andy's home):
Railroad crossing at Harris Ave and Railroad St., Woonsocket, RI 02895
9. Railway Bridge under which Hachi walks (view of the fork in the train tracks):
Blackstone St., Woonsocket, RI 02895
10. Location of stationary train cars (under which Hachi sleeps):
View from Harris Ave.
View from River St.
(You can see the building marked "DOM POLSKI.
In movie, it can be seen in background when Hachi first arrives at the location)
11. Street where Hachi is shown walking from station to Milton & Myra's butcher shop:
12. Downtown (where the 10+ year old Hachi is seen for the first time):
Main St., Woonsocket, RI 02895
LA Eigafest is devoted to showcasing Japanese influenced films to an American audience, promoting emerging filmmakers to Hollywood, and enhancing the relationship between US and Japanese film industries.
As part of the Festival, the Japanese government awarded the "U.S. Japan Content Merit Award" for bringing Japanese content and talent to a mainstream American audience.
Besides being honored for "Hachi: A Dog's Tale", other recipients were Director Guillermo Del Toro (Pacific Rim), Producer Tim Kring (Heroes), Producer Don Murphy
(Transformers) and Chief Content Officer John Lasseter (Toy Story) of Pixar who created the market for Ghibli Films in the US.
The honor was conferred by Jun Niimi, (Consul General of Japan), Kensuke Tomita, (Director-General, Commerce and Information Policy Bureau- Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry) and Sachiko Yoshimura (JETRO Los Angeles Chief Executive Director). The formal ceremony took place at the Consul General of Japan's beautiful Los Angeles residence.
The 3rd annual LA Eigafest opened with the premiere of the Clint Eastwood remake "Unforgiven" starring Ken Watanabe and directed by Lee Sang-il.
It’s 1869, and imperial troops hotly pursue renegade samurai, loyal to the Shogun system, who have fled to the northern island of Hokkaido. An impressively choreographed bloodbath unfolds in the snowy forests. The screening was held at the famous Egyptian theater with Mr. Watanabe and Mr. Sang-il answering audience questions after the screening.
It was a fun evening with a delicious buffet reception and lots of avid film fans. The festival is headed by Mr. Hayato Mitsuishi, President of the Japan Film Society. Hayato has boundless energy, a warm smile and is an exuberant advocate for Japan films.
Supporting the festival was Misako Ito, Director of the Japan Foundation Los Angeles. I first met Misako when she coordinated a Hachi screening and reception for the Japanese Ambassador in Washington DC. There's nothing Misako can't find out or do!
The entire weekend was invaluable for aspiring and advanced filmmakers alike. I participated in a business panel on Saturday morning, and learned quite a bit about anime and manga from Jason Hoffs, head of VIZ Productions. The company acquires world-class Japanese intellectual properties and packages them with Hollywood creative talent.
Also on the panel was actor, writer, producer Masi Oka. An Emmy and Golden Globe nominated actor, Masi Oka burst onto the scene in NBC’s series “Heroes” and currently can be seen on the hit series, “Hawaii 5-0.”
Jason and Masi are both consummate professionals, and possess a huge body of knowledge about film and television production. I came into film quite a different way. As I shared that morning- my career started because of a dog in 1930's Japan!
Enjoy "Hachi: A Dog's Tale" under the stars: Meet dog star, trainer, producers - The Riviera Country Club, Los Angeles on September 28th
Outdoor Movie Screening
"HACHI: A Dog's Tale"
Presented by JASSC and
The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles
Saturday, September 28, 2013
5:00pm - Gates open/Dinner
7:00pm - Screening (Depending on sunset)
The Riviera Country Club
1250 Capri Drive, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
(Go to security gate and you will be directed to parking area for event)
Adults - $20 [Includes Maison Akira's Japanese Bento Box*]
Children under 12 - $10 [Includes Panera Kids Box*]
You must reserve and pay for your admission prior to September 20th to guarantee your meals.
Seating is limited, so reserve your tickets in advance:
Japan America Society of Southern California
"Pawprints In Japan" is an enthralling book and is sure to capture your heart and bring Hachi alive once more.
Painstakingly researched and written by long-time dog lover and Akita owner, Nicholas C. Rhoden- I was recently contacted by Linda Wroth who shared this book with me. Linda is mentioned in the Preface, and is an Akita owner who is devoted to the well being and history of the Akita dog.
The book is a greatly expanded collection of four award winning articles previously published in The Akita Journal. Each of the original articles won "Best Article of the Year in a Single-Breed Magazine," awarded by the Dog Writers Association of America.
The first chapter is "Hachi-ko, the Loyal Dog—and the Forgotten Story of an American Tribute". I learned many details about Hachiko's life prior to his death- the kindness of Dr. Ueno's (Hachiko's owner) former gardener, Mr. Kikuzaburo Kobayashi and by the Director of Shibuya Station, Mr. Chuichi Yoshikawa.
We learn about Hachi's daily life and health issues including why his left ear drooped. Prior to Hachi becoming famous, the shopkeepers and locals were generally indifferent towards him. An exception was the famous stage and screen star Yoshiko Kawada who would visit him as a friend. Learn how Hachiko became known as the protector of the "underdog"!
Included are rare photos of Hachi and a map of Tokyo showing the exact spots that Hachi frequented. We can see the actual distance from Shibuya Station, Profesor's Ueno's home, the University, Hachiko's grave site, and other locations of interest. Through this visual, we get a clearer picture of Hachi's everyday life and devotion.
Numerous little known details of Hachiko's life is uncovered. On Sunday, April 14th, the Los Angeles Times reported a ceremony attended by the ex-mayor of Los Angeles, Consul General of Japan Mr. Tomokazu Hori and a little girl named Elizabeth Hansen at St. Mary's Japanese Episcopal Church.
In honor of Hachiko, Elizabeth led a famous Airedale named Kentucky Boy lll (the most decorated dog in the US, he was the recipient of 16 medals for heroism) to the platform and officially turned over the containers of pennies, nickels and dimes contributed by American and Japanese-American school children all over the Southland.
The other three chapters are equally fascinating: "Helen Keller: Saint of Three Burdens and the Forgotten Story of Her Akitas—First in America", "Myths and Legends of the Dog in Ancient Japan: Demon or Demi-God?" and "Taro and Jiro: The Never-to-Be-Forgotten Story of an Incredible Survival—and the Untold Story of an Omen".
A special treat is the over 70 fascinating photographs of Hachiko, Helen Keller with her Akitas, and Taro and Jiro- the courageous dogs of the Antarctica dog sled team with an incredible survival tale.
You can purchase "Pawprints in Japan" from the Akita Club of America. The ACA store is located at this link. The price per book is $25.00 plus shipping and handling.
Reading this book made me feel even more respectful of Hachiko, the loyal dog of Japan.
Within minutes, the Oklahoma tornados left many without homes or possessions. Families would soon be sifting through their homes- now a pile of wood and rubble. At times of utter loss, what you hold dear becomes quite clear.
During a television interview, a woman spoke of the terrifying moments during the storm. She had only two wishes: that she and her dog would be fine. One of her wishes had come true. At that moment, the camera changed focus to a black fuzzy head popping out from under the wreckage. It was her dog!
Not all endings were happy. In honor of the animals that didn't make it home, here's some thoughts I'd like to share with you- from a dog's point of view.
1. My life is likely to last 10 to 15 years; any separation from you will be painful for me. Remember that before you adopt me.
2. Give me time to understand what you want from me; don't be impatient, short-tempered, or irritable.
3. Place your trust in me and I will always trust you back. Respect is earned not given as an inalienable right.
4. Don't be angry with me for long and don't lock me up as punishment; I am not capable of understanding why. I only know I have been rejected. You have your work, entertainment, and friends, but I only have you.
5. Talk to me. Even if I don't understand your words, I do understand your voice and your tone. You only have to look at my tail.
6. Be aware that however you treat me, I'll never forget it, and if it's cruel, it may affect me forever.
7. Please don't hit me. I can't hit back, but I can bite and scratch, and I really don't ever want to do that
8. Before you scold me for being uncooperative, obstinate, or lazy, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I'm not getting the right foods or I've been out in the sun too long, or my heart is getting old and weak. It may be I am just dog-tired.
9. Take care of me when I get old. You too will grow old and may also need love, care, comfort, and attention.
10. Go with me on difficult journeys. Never say, "I can't bear to watch" or "Let it happen in my absence." Everything is easier for me if you are there. Remember, regardless of what you do, I will always love you.
As published in: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
By Stan Rawlinson,1993
Bella and Beavis
Who says animals don't express emotion? This video of Bella the dog and Beavis the beaver has been viewed on YouTube over 245,000 times.
Before Beavis passed away, he and Bella were inseparable. They ate together, played together, and even shared living quarters. Beavis passed away in 2012, but the pair's story resurfaced after a video that the owner shot of the two appeared on Reddit.
In the heartbreaking video, as Bella realizes that her friend is not coming to life, she whimpers, nuzzles, and licks her friend as if trying to say goodbye.
My dog Hachi had a "crush" on my parents elderly cat named "Misty". For years, Hachi would tentatively try to approach Misty- only to be rebuffed by a loud hiss and a fierce stare. When Misty died, she was buried in the backyard with a simple ceremony. After the burial, Hachi began whimpering and digging frantically at the soil. For days, he wouldn't leave the site.
Unlike Bella and her beaver friend, Hachi never got the chance to show his devotion to Misty... until the very end.
Today is Hachiko Memorial Day in Japan, so...
In honor of my favorite dog, I'm thrilled to introduce a brand new, in-depth book by historian Mayumi Itoh on the true life story of Japan's most famous dog. Ms. Itoh details little known facts about Hachiko's life - full of twists and turns and is certainly “stranger than fiction.” It's a totally fascinating read that will have you riveted!
Mayumi Itoh is a former Professor of Political Science at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She has also taught at Princeton University and Queens College, City University of New York. She is the author of several books and has written extensively on Japanese foreign policy and domestic politics in academic journals.
Itoh in her 2010 book, "Japanese Wartime Zoo Policy: The Silent Victims of World War II", writes: "Let us not forget Mahatma Gandhi’s axiom, 'The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.'
It is to be hoped that mankind has learned its lesson from the march of folly during World War II and other wars in recent years, in which countless animals have perished. It is also to be hoped that animal protection groups and wildlife conservationists in the world will gather their resources to further raise public and governmental awareness of a responsibility toward animals in times of war and disaster on the part of humans.
It is further to be hoped that international organizations—such as the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) —will mobilize their forces to lobby governments to ratify an international treaty concerning the protection and care of captive animals in times of war and disaster, in the near future. This application to animals of 1949 Geneva Convention concerning the treatment of non-combatants would mark the moral progress of mankind, as suggested by Mahatma Gandhi, if belatedly."
Itoh digs deep about Hachiko, professor Ueno, and shares a historical perspective on the impact between the famous dog of Japan and Japanese society of that era. I learned more about Hachi in one day than in years. It's compelling and a must read for any true Hachi lover!
Wishing You a Very Happy Hachiko Memorial Day!!
(The Flower Festival, Buddha's birthday, is also celebrated on this same day)
Scene from Ceremony on April 8th, 2009
Crowd gathers to pay respect at Shibuya Station
Tribute to the legacy of Hachiko
Every year on April 8th, Hachiko is celebrated with a traditional ceremony at Shibuya train station. In Japan, Hachiko is revered for his legacy of devotion that has touched hearts around the world.
I've always believed that this loyal dog is truly a universal ambassador of good will. Viewers from around the world share the profound emotions that his story generates. Every time I visit Shibuya Station, I'm always touched by the lively crowd that gathers to snap photos with Hachiko. There's a purity about him. Everybody seems so joyful and animated, and it's such a magical moment!
Vicki Shigekuni Wong
I first spotted Hachiko's statue many years ago at Shibuya Station. Upon returning home, I adopted a dog and named him Hachi. When he passed away, I missed his reflective, welcoming and calm ways. We can all learn from the innate emotional grace of our animal friends and the Way of Hachi. I love sharing the story of the loyal dog of Japan, and hope he inspires more people to "Be Hachi"!