Hachiko- A dog's story
The Main Character of the upcoming movie “Hachi”, with Richard Gere in the supporting “human” role, is a well-known breed in Japan, also not that common in the small town-dwellings, where dwarf-sized breeds like Chihuahua or Pekinese are much easier cared for.
The first Hachiko movie was shot in 1987 and named “Hachiko Monogatari”, telling the dog's story from birth to death and spiritual reunion with his master and was at that time very well received.
The coming-up movie, directed by Lasse Hallstroem and written by Stephen P. Lindsey stars beside Hachiko and Richard Gere Joan Allen and Sarah Roemer. It will be released in Japan on August 8. and in the US in October.
Richard Gere plays the professor and Hachiko is played by three different dogs in his different stages, except for his puppy-days where his part is taken actually by Shiba-dog puppies. Despite of the plot playing in the states, a Japanese Akita was used. The movie isn't that serious and deep in plot and character developing, for example the humans don't age much during the supposedly 12 years the story spans, but it is still a heartwarming story, esp. for dog lovers, the more that it is based on a true story
It thus might spur a surge in popularity of the breed (as happened shortly during the O.J Simpson trials, because he had an Akita. And it also happened with Dalmatians after “101” and pugs after “Men in Black”) and start the talk again about the differences between Japanese Akita and American Akita.
of more concern is the fact that the Akita is not an easy dog by
size/power & character and requires attention and a strong
master, otherwise his bad sides might come out and make him a mean
dog which might happen even easier when he is from an over-bret
place. So if you are thinking about owning one of these gorgeous looking dogs, scroll down for more info about the breed!
The original story
Hachiko, the real story is about a dog, Akita breed, that waits faithfully for his master at the train station even after his owner's death for 11 years. The dog was born on November 10, 1923 and died on March 8, 1935. He came to Tokyo with his master, Hidesaburo Ueno, a professor at the University of Tokyo. He would follow him in the morning from his home up to Shibuya station and wait for his return in the evening. But in May 1925 the professor suffered a fatal stroke at work and was never to return to the waiting Hachiko. Despite this, the dog would escape from his new owners and search around the professors house, later waiting at the station every evening. This caused the attention first of other commuters who would feed him treats and than a former student of the professor, who went on to write a documentary about the faithful dog in the newspaper, which was picked up by teachers and parents as well as later the Military as an example of loyalty towards the family and the country. His end though was not such a happy one as he was found one day dead in the street, his heart infected with worms and several yakitori(grilled-chicken skewers) sticks in his stomach. His remains were stuffed and are still to be viewed at the National Science Museum of Japan in Ueno.
The first statue of Hachiko in front of Shibuya station was actually already put up when he was still alive in 1934 after Hachiko became very famous through his couverage in the newspaper with the dog as the special-guest, but it was a victim of the war's hunger for everything metal.
In August 1948 the son of the first sculptor who had since passed away, made a new statue which still can be seen and is a popular meeting-point for young people on a night out. Even the station entrance is named “Hachiko” after the dog.
The 1987 Japanese Movie
Hardcover, 500 pgs. An amazing wealth of knowledge, from puppies, personality, history to health and nutrition, by a devoted expert.
The original story
For kids, telling the story through the eyes of a young boy; many illustrations.
Small to 6XL size, different colors.
Steel with rust resistant black finish.
The Akita breed
The Akita Inu or Akita-ken (both are readings for the same “dog”-kanji) has a long history in Japan, developing in the the Northern region of Akita. It was used as a large-game hunting dog, mainly boars and bears. It has a very powerful yet graceful appearance witch the body length being not much longer than it's height, a big head and a very soft-looking double-layered coat, a testimony to the dog's roots in Japan's “Snow Country”. The colors nowadays range from white to fawn and red. Body height at the withers are 60 – 66 cm (24 – 26 in) and body weight is around 40 kg (87 lb) for females and 50 kg (110 lb) for males.
breed, like other Japanese dogs, became nearly extinct during the
hard times during and after the war, first because of lack of food
and later to prevent the spread of disease. Through the efforts of
a few people the Akita was than successfully bred again to
sustainable numbers while keeping the original characteristics of the
American Akita, originally from the same roots as the Japanese Akita,
started its separate path from the time after WW II, when US
Servicemen would bring home a puppy from Japan. Because of the
different breeding style they are now recognized in most countries as
two different breeds, except from the American and the Canadian Kennel
Club. They are mostly larger and heavier than their original counterparts
in Japan and have more kinds of colors, notably dark brown and black
general characteristics are of courage and affectionate loyalty towards
their owner. But because of their power and dominant strait, they are no easy dogs for beginners. They will need
lots of exercise and have to be trained as puppies to
develop into a family dog that is playful with kids. Akitas are very intelligent, thus they require attention and need to be occupied, otherwise they might get bored and destructive
towards their surroundings. Their
independent streak can make them challenging without a lead in
obedience.The coat will require grooming, especially during the shedding
their sometimes “cuddly” appearance because of their thick coat,
Akitas can be aggressive towards strangers and unkown dogs.But for the right person and owners who are willing to put efforts into the relationship, they will show a very rewarding loving loyalty and be an entertaining partner through their intelligent behaviour.