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).
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 「八」 (“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).