Hachiko Movie Review

hachiko real photo

Hachiko, the legendary Japanese Akita dog has been the testimony of loyalty for nearly a century now. In 1924, Hachiko was brought to Tokyo by his owner, Hidesaburo Ueno, a professor in the agriculture department at the University of Tokyo. During his owner’s life, Hachiko saw him off from the front door and greeted him at the end of the day at the nearby Shibuya Station.

Hachiko with owner
Hachiko and Professor were very close, and every day, at the same time, Hachiko would meet his owner at Tokyo’s Shibuya train station and they would go home together. Even the commuters came to know Hachiko and loved to play with him.

The pair continued their daily routine until May 1925 when Professor Ueno didn’t return on the usual train one evening as he couldn’t survive the fatal brain hemorrhage. Hachiko was given away after his master’s death, but he religiously escaped, turning up time and again at his old home. With the passage of time, Hachiko 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. This marked the beginning of one of the utmost heart-wrenching love stories you’ll ever pay an audience to….a decade on the trot, Hachiko waited for Professor Ueno to return. And each day he didn’t see his friend among the commuters at the station.

In 1932, one of these articles, published in Tokyo’s largest newspaper, threw the dog into the national spotlight. Hachiko became a national sensation. His faithfulness to his long dead master impressed the people of Japan as a spirit of family loyalty all should strive to achieve. Teachers and parents used Hachiko’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. An annual ceremony celebrated each year on April 8, Hachiko’s devotion is honored with a solemn ceremony of remembrance at Tokyo’s Shibuya railroad station.

Hachiko death
Hachiko passed away in 1935, still waiting outside the train station. The Japanese were truly heartbroken and preserved his body at the National Science Museum of Japan. A statue for Hachiko was also commemorated outside the station.

The 1987 Japanese movie, Hachiko Monogatari, based on Hachiko’s undying loyalty to his master even after his death was a run-away Japanese box office success. Believe me, if this story fails to arouse an emotional outburst through your lachrymal glands then perhaps you need to seek psychiatry help! 🙂 Adorned with the 1987 Genesis Awards (awarded for films that contribute to the humane treatment of animals), Hachiko movie review scored with critics and audiences alike. This poignant tale, the profound commentary on the concept of “interspecies altruism” is directed in a subtle manner unlike most of the other movies in the genre. This film presents to us the inexplicable bond between two souls of different species. None of the other characters in the film seem to understand it; the man’s own family cannot appreciate it; and I wouldn’t be surprised if we, the audience, are not expected to understand it either. This adds even more value to the magical bond which Professor Ueno & Hachi shared.

A review on Imdb.com reads,” If this movie doesn’t affect you, you are THE DEVIL!”

If you’re an animal lover, you’ll be hooked from the first minute. If you’re not an animal lover, then you’ll be one by the time the movie’s over.

There once was a man so an old story goes
Went to the station every day rain or snow
His faithful dog would walk right by his side
And sit there and wait till he came home at night

And when the man died the dog still would go
To the station each day … why? no one knows

He was waiting for someone he loved
Waiting for someone he loved
Someone he believed in someone he could trust
Day after day waiting for someone he loved

Days turned to weeks and months turned to years
Trains came and went, but the dog still appeared
Hoping to see the face he adored
His old true companion – the one he lived for
But then came the night when the dog finally died
Now I know he’s there walking by his masters side

He’s been waiting for someone he loved
Waiting for someone he loved
Someone he believed in someone he could trust
Don’t you think humans could learn from that dog?
Now I don’t know about all of you
But I wish that my heart was so true
To think he could miss him that much

He spent all his life waiting for someone he loved
Waiting for someone he loved!

Hachiko statue plate
(Above) The bronze statue erected outside the station where Hachiko would meet his owner. (Below) On the spot where he would wait, a bronze plaque was put to honor Hachiko’s loyalty.

In the summer of 2009 and Hachiko was brought back to the silver screen, this time in a Hollywood production starring Richard Gere. This movie would surely capture your imagination and catapult you to the world which has only lived in your vivid memories like those of Grimm Brothers fairy tales, here’s my homage…a silent nod to Hachiko’s immortal love and loyalty!

I don't care who dies in a movie,a s long as the dog lives.
I don’t care who dies in a movie, as long as the dog lives.

After nearly a century, finally Hachiko was reunited with his human in a statue. 

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18 thoughts on “Hachiko Movie Review”

  1. After reading your post, reading the story and watching the video, i am choked for words..Such love is what I think is true love..I wonder if humans can come this close to feeling what Hachiko felt :’)
    a bitter sweet symphony, this life is calvy boy 🙂

  2. hv already seen dis muvy….im a guy bt stil i cried…luv my pets v mch…knw wht dey mean 2 me….dey r d apple of my eyes….rite nw m away 4rm em n i knw hw mch i miss em….yearnin 2 b wid em soon….

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