Faithful dog Hachikō

More than a film, a message from dogs to mankind.

Richard Gere and Hachi

We recently watched a film about an Akita dog called Hachi, Hachikō in Japanese, that demonstrates the loyalty that dogs can have for their human owners.

Here’s the official movie trailer. [UPDATE – for copyright reasons that movie trailer has been removed from YouTube.]

It’s a very moving film – seriously so!  Expect to shed many tears.  Even more so when one reflects that the Hollywood film is based, reasonably accurately, on a true story.  The details of this story are in Wikipedia from which is quoted:

In 1924, Hidesaburō Ueno, a professor in the agriculture department at the University of Tokyo took in Hachikō as a pet. 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. And each day he did not see his friend among the commuters at the station.

The permanent fixture at the train station that was Hachikō attracted the attention of other commuters. Many of the people who frequented the Shibuya train station had seen Hachikō and Professor Ueno together each day. They brought Hachikō treats and food to nourish him during his wait.

This continued for nine years with Hachikō appearing precisely when the train was due at the station

This hasn’t been the only film about this dog.  See below:

Back to the Wikipedia entry:

That same year, another of Ueno’s faithful students (who had become something of an expert on the Akita breed) saw the dog at the station and followed him to the Kobayashi home (the home of the former gardener of Professor Ueno — Kikuzaboro Kobayashi) where he learned the history of Hachikō’s life. Shortly after this meeting, the former student published a documented census of Akitas in Japan. His research found only 30 purebred Akitas remaining, including Hachikō from Shibuya Station.

Professor Ueno’s former student returned frequently to visit the dog and over the years published several articles about Hachikō’s remarkable loyalty. In 1932 one of these articles, published in Tokyo’s largest newspaper, threw the dog into the national spotlight. Hachikō became 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. A well-known Japanese artist rendered a sculpture of the dog, and throughout the country a new awareness of the Akita breed grew.

Eventually, Hachiko’s legendary faithfulness became a national symbol of loyalty.

Hachikō died on March 8, 1935. He was found on a street in Shibuya. His heart was infected with filarial worms and 3-4 yakitori sticks were found in his stomach. His stuffed and mounted remains are kept at the National Science Museum of Japan in Ueno, Tokyo.


The Akita breed has a great reputation for loyalty.  But knowing that doesn’t in any way weaken the power of the message for the present times.

A dog offers loyalty, trust and love in exchange for being treated, in turn, with integrity and compassion.

That’s why we have so much to learn from dogs.

Smarter than we realise!

By Paul Handover

35 thoughts on “Faithful dog Hachikō

  1. What a poor dog. T_T
    I started the film expecting nothing, after the film, my eyes were filled with tears. This movie sort of reminded me of my dog who died when I was a kid.


  2. Hi,
    I have seen the film it was very sad . After seeing it i start crying. Nowadays I have also a dog of Akita and i have named it ”HACHI”.


  3. i think the family is at fault because had hachi been informed about the death of his master which of course by bringing him to the funeral and to his master’s final resting place the dog would never have wasted years waiting for his master at the bus station and instead would have find a way to survive , well making his own family by breeding more akitas in japan right?..this is an implication that not all men love animals, dogs in particular, because the film or the story shows that only the professor shows his love for the dog and never the rest of the family…


    1. I agree Hachi was smart enough that taking him to the funeral would have help him. When he lost his master he had no one.


    2. I agree Hachi was smart enough that taking him to the funeral would have help him. When he lost his master he had no one.


  4. What a great story . Dogs are so loving so faithful and so truly pure. I have had many dogs in my life that I have called my friends. I have never claimed to own them .I wish that I had known this dog I would have slept on the streets with him.Good Boy! Tears of Joy…


    1. Areis, thank you for visiting Learning from Dogs and leaving your lovely comment. Hope to see you again soon. And would love to know the origin of your name and where you are from. Paul.


  5. Its a movie which one must watch atleast once. Dogs unconditional Love can be matched with no other living creatures not even human beings. The moral from the movie is something that one must adapt in his life “Being Loyal To The One You Love”. It conveys a meaningfull and deep message in it. Finally, nicely written Paul. I’m truely admired by your work..


  6. I just saw the Hachi movie on TV with Richard Gere in it. Most moving. Still have tears in my eyes and I am a grown man! Immediately went on the net to learn more. This dog was remarkable. All dogs are. But in this story so is the Prof’s student who tracks Hachi and makes this adorable pooch the hero amongst humans all pooches deserve to be!

    Long live loyalty. Horray to the dogs of the World! Learning From Dogs is a perpetual occurance. Oliver Goldsmith in his poem, “Elegy On The Death Of A Mad Dog”, recognised it more than a century ago most succinctly.


  7. Hachi’s story has really inspired me to love dogs as i didn’t love them before but now i’ve two dogs and i really love them but frankly said they are not comparable to hachiko because hachiko is great


    1. Cireenna, that’s so lovely to hear. That your pair of dogs have won you over! Would love to have a guest post from you about your doggie experiences. So welcome to Learning from Dogs and thank you for your comment.


  8. This movie deeply consider a true unconditionally love of dog HACHIKO for his master Parker Wilson. I m sure tht ths movie would make every true person cry. I wud surly get this breed dog in my life.


  9. I must say it was hard to find your site in search results.

    You write awesome posts but you should rank your blog higher in search engines.
    If you don’t know how to do it search on youtube: how to rank a website Marcel’s way


  10. I saw this movie of Hachi and have been grieving over his lost and the fact that he never got to see his master again. Such a beautiful love story. Hachi you will forever be in my heart and my soul. I love you boy. I am so glad u are no longer suffering.


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