On this day…

9 Apr

Do you know the famous Japanese dog 「忠犬ハチ公」 (Faithful Hachiko)?

Probably every Japanese person knows the story of Hachiko.

Hachiko was an 秋田犬 (Akita-inu dog) who moved from 秋田県 (Akita Prefecture, Japan) to Tokyo with his owner because he (his owner) got a teaching job at 東京大学 (University Of Tokyo).

Hachiko would see his owner off every morning at 渋谷駅 (Shibuya Train Station (in Tokyo)) and then go back to the station in the evening to greet his owner when he returned.

One day, though, his owner didn’t return because he died while at work. But Hachiko continued to return to 渋谷駅 (Shibuya Train Station) every evening at the same time to wait for his master.

It’s a true story of loyalty and friendship.

There’s a famous statue of Hachiko at 渋谷駅 (Shibuya Train Station) in Tokyo. (There’s also another lesser-known statue of Hachiko in his hometown in 秋田県 (Akita Prefecture, Japan)).

The statue of Hachiko in front of 渋谷駅 (Shibuya Train Station) was erected on April 8, 1934.

So, every year on April 8th there is a memorial ceremony for Hachiko at the statue at 渋谷駅 (Shibuya Train Station).

Hachiko statue in Shibuya on the April 8, 2009 memorial ceremony.

Hachiko statue in Shibuya on the April 8, 2009 memorial ceremony.

There’s a Japanese movie about Hachiko…and now Richard Gere is promoting a Hollywood remake of this movie that he stars in.
(Click here to read my post about this movie and a bit more about the dog.)

The movie, titled “Hachiko: A Dog’s Story“, will debut in Japan on August 8, 2009.

On May 12, 2009, a new statue of Hachiko will be erected at お台場 (Odaiba, Tokyo). This date was chosen because it will be 88 days before the new Hachiko movie’s release date.*
(Eight in Japanese is 「」 (“hachi“)…which sounds like Hachiko.)


April 10, 2009 (tomorrow) will be the 50th wedding anniversary of Japan’s Emperor and Empress.
And last January 7 (2009) was the 20th anniversary of the day he became the Emperor (his father (the former Emperor) died on January 7, 1989).

So this year*, November 12 will be a legal holiday in Japan. It will be to celebrate both the Emperor’s twenty years on the throne and fifty years of marriage.

November 12 was chosen rather than January 7 or April 10 because it was decided it would be better to celebrate both on a separate date…and the Emperor’s 戴冠式 (coronation ceremony) was on November 12, 1990.

(*November 12 will be a holiday this year (2009) only).

11 Responses to “On this day…”

  1. anna marie March 31, 2012 at 10:10 pm #

    _ when i watched the story movie of hachiko, i really cry its really touch my HEART AND SOUL, hachiko is very loyal to hiS master..huhuhuh…T.T i want to have a dog like HACHIKO..

    _ i watched this story movie over and over again…


    • tokyo5 March 31, 2012 at 11:09 pm #

      Which movie version of the story did you watch? The “original” Japanese movie or the Hollywood remake (starring Richard Gere)?


  2. tokyo5 June 15, 2009 at 10:10 pm #

    I wrote in this post:

    On May 12, 2009, a new statue of Hachiko will be erected at お台場 (Odaiba, Tokyo).

    Well, today, my wife and I went to Odaiba and I saw this statue.
    It’s nothing like the bronze “Hachiko” statues in Shibuya and Akita…it’s just a temporary cartoonish-looking “statue”.


  3. cuteandcurls April 12, 2009 at 8:12 am #

    He claimed he did not do anything except that our Hitam went completely bezerk and he had no choice but to give him an injection. What was worse when we came to collect him he was wrapped FROZEN in newspaper. He was absolutely inhuman especially when he said that he will throw our Hitam into toxic waste if we did not claim him ASAP. My dad was in silent tears when he cleaned his cat, talking to him softly saying goodbye and that he is now in a good place.

    Well I hope to catch up with your emails when Im back from my Easter break. Take care!


    • tokyo5 April 12, 2009 at 11:37 am #

      You should report such a doctor!


  4. cuteandcurls April 11, 2009 at 10:48 pm #

    He was around 10-11 years old. Thats how long we had him. Actually he would have lived longer if it had not been the carelessness of the stupid veternarian that my elder sister decided to send him to.


    • tokyo5 April 11, 2009 at 10:57 pm #

      Eleven years old is pretty old for a cat or dog!

      What did the veterinarian do?


  5. cuteandcurls April 9, 2009 at 9:41 pm #

    😦 Feels so sad reading about Hachiko, just shows how loyal a pet can be to a person. my father owned a cat whom he named as Hitam (Black) he took care of him when he adopted him from work as a kitten. Hitam grew up to be a strong, very fierce cat. He’s black with a white bib. Gorgeous cat, very protective and responsive! Like Hachiko, every morning and afternoon like clockwork he would sit by the window to see my father off to work. When he died we were all heartbroken, cried our eyes out till they’re swollen and my dad, well, to this day never ever adopted a cat again. I’ll probably look for the movie (the J version) and watch it before watching the Hollywood version ^_^ Shame that November 12 is not considered as a permanent holiday there tho.


    • tokyo5 April 9, 2009 at 11:55 pm #

      >my father owned a cat whom he named as Hitam (Black)

      Does “hitam” mean “black” in your language?

      > When he died we were all heartbroken

      I think so. Sounds like he became a part of your family!

      >I’ll probably look for the movie

      Yes, you should watch the movie 「ハチ公物語」 (“Hachiko’s Story“)!
      I recommend it.

      > Shame that November 12 is not considered as a permanent holiday there

      Well, this year is a special date in the Emperor’s life…that’s why it’s this year only.
      Japan has plenty of legal holidays…I listed them on my site. Here:


      • cuteandcurls April 11, 2009 at 1:29 pm #

        Yes Hitam means Black in my language 🙂 Hitam is very much part of our family. If he’s missing my father will not rest until he is back and if he’s back he’s under ‘house arrest’ for a very long time 😀 I’ll definitely find the movie at the DVD shop..hopefully they’ll have it.


      • tokyo5 April 11, 2009 at 6:44 pm #

        How old was Hitam when he died?


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