The word hachi has three meanings in Japanese, but none of these explain why we use this word for the name of our shop. Many people would be aware of the 2009 British-American movie Hachi: A Dog’s Tale, starring Richard Gere and Joan Allen, about an Akita Inu dog. It is after this faithful, loving dog, Hachi-ko, that our shop is named. This movie was a remake of the earlier Japanese film Hachi-ko Monogatari, which means The Tale of Hachiko.
Both films are based on the true story about Hachi, born in Tokyo in 1923. At the age of one Hachi was acquired by Professor Hidesamuro Ueno of the University of Tokyo. The loving pet would farewell its master at the front gate each morning, and watch as the Professor walked to the local station for the trip to work.
Hachi soon learned the location of the station, and began the habit of walking there to greet the train carrying his master home at night. Less than a year later, in 1925, the Professor unexpectedly died whilst at lecture, yet the loyal Hachi maintained its practice of going to the station every evening in the forlorn hope of greeting and walking home with the Professor.
Our Name - Hachi
This practice continued for eleven years, until the dog’s death. Over time the story became known in the area, and eventually gained broader coverage throughout Japan, the dog eventually becoming a national hero, now immortalised by a statue of dog and master outside Shibuya Station.
Understandably, The Tale of Hachiko is one of the best-known and most-loved stories in popular Japanese literature.