Friday, February 1, 2013

Foreign Film Friday - Hachikô monogatari (1987)

Also known as Hachi-Ko and Hachikō

This beautiful Japanese drama tells the true story of Hachikō, an Akita living with his professor guardian, Hidesaburō Ueno, in 1925 Tokyo. Each day, Hachikō greets the professor as he returns from work to Shibuya Station. The powerful bond between the two is proved when Ueno doesn't come home one day and Hachikō waits in vain. With no one to explain to the big dog that his best friend will never walk off the train again, Hachikō goes on visiting the station each day, waiting. Waiting for the next ten years.

At the time, the real Hachikō’s fame swept not only Japan, but the world as a resounding example of canine loyalty, patience, and devotion. Today, the Akita’s memory is still honored with statues, films, books, memorial ceremonies, and museum exhibits. Yet few accounts of the loyal dog’s life could be as powerful and heartbreaking as this movie written by Kaneto Shindô and directed by Seijirô Kôyama. Tadaomi Miya, who also worked on one of the most extraordinary dog films ever made, Nankyoku monogatari (1983), trained the Akita performer.

Produced by Mitsui Company Ltd., Shôchiku Eiga, Tokyu Group

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