Hachikō was a dog that is fondly remembered for his incredible loyalty to his owner and guardian Hidesaburō Ueno, which he continued to wait for at the Shibuya Station for nearly a decade after Ueno’s sudden death. His story reached worldwide acclaim after the movie “Hachi: A Dog’s Tale” was released in 2009 which was an adaptation of the 1987 Japanese film “Hachikō Monogatari”. Both films portray the life and story of Hachikō. So, what kind of dog is Hachiko In Hachi A Dog’s Tale?
Hachikō is a pure bread Akita Inu. At the time of its life, one of Ueno’s former students named Hirokichi Saito published a document that shows the census of Akitas in Japan. He was able to find out that through his research, there were only 30 purebred Akitas remaining in Japan during that time and Hachikō was among them.
The dog breed originated in Japan, in the city of Ōdate in the Akita Prefecture. Initially trained to hunt animals. The breed then transitioned to dogfighting during the 1600s. It is said that the Akita served as a samurais companion from the 1500s to the 1800s. The Akita were prominent in the Russo-Japanese war where they were used to track Prisoners of wars.
As a breed derived from the spitz, their appearance reflects their adaptation to cold weather environments with their thick double coats. They can grow to a height of 58 to 69 cm (23 to 27 inches) and weigh around 25 to 42 kg (55 to 92 lbs). They can come in many colors such as ginger, white, brindle, or red.
Akitas are considered territorial when it comes to their property and can be quite reserved with strangers. They are also known to be aggressive to other dogs especially those of the same gender. They are strong and dominant dogs though it is said that they have an affinity for children.
Hachikō was a white Akita born at a farm in Ōdate in the Akita Prefecture on November 10, 1923. He was taken in by Hidesaburō Ueno who was a professor at the Tokyo Imperial University in 1924 who eventually brought him back to Shibuya, Tokyo. Ueno would commute to work daily at the Shibuya Station where Hachikō would greet him at the end of each working day. Unfortunately, Ueno suddenly passed away from a cerebral hemorrhage during a lecture without ever returning to the station. Hachikō would then visit the station to loyally await his owner’s return. He started getting attention from the workers and the commuters at the Station and though they were initially not fond of him, an article about him in Asahi Shimbun caused them to start bringing food for the dog. Thus began Hachikō’s nearly decade-long wait until his eventual death in 1935.
Hachikō is a symbol of true loyalty and faithfulness and though his breed may be more infamous for its ferocity, its affection for its family members as shown by Hachikō cannot be overlooked.