There are many heartwarming stories out there that help people to understand different outstanding characteristics about various breeds of canine. We’ll be talking a lot about a dog named Hachi; but what kind of dog was Hachi?
Hachi was an Akita Inu, that lived in Japan. He was born on November 10th, 1923, and passed away on March 8th, 1935 living to be over 12 years old. This particular Akita had a peach white coat, which is roughly recognizable in a photo that surfaced back in 2015- though it’s in black and white.
We’re going to be brushing up on the Akita breed that enjoys the fame that Hachiko left on its shoulders. But first, let’s take a look at what made Hachiko such a staple in Japanese culture.
Born on a farm in 1923, Hachi or Hachiko was adopted by a professor of agriculture at the University of Tokyo.
Over time as the Akita Inu puppy grew, the owner whose name was Hidesaburo Ueno developed a daily pattern or ritual together that lasted several years.
The two would walk together down to the Shibuya train station, where Hidesaburo would affectionately say his goodbyes to Hachiko, get on the train, and leave en route to the University.
Hachiko would then lounge around the train station for several hours until his owner would come back from work.
For years this pattern between Hidesaburo and his dog took place. The station employees grew fond of Hachiko and would take care of him since it became such a fixture at the station.
One day everything changed for Hachiko, as his beloved owner never came back from work, as he suffered a brain hemorrhage and passed away before having the chance to come home.
It is said that Hachi died of natural causes. His loyalty and longsuffering for the return of his loved one pierced the hearts of the Japanese people, and the fame of this dog became the stuff of legends.
Because of how much this dog impacted the community, his remains were stuffed and placed on display at the Museum of Japan in Tokyo. Several pictures have since been released of Hachiko by the family.
What Kind of Dog is the Akita Inu?
The Akita Inu is an indigenous dog breed of Japan, having its origins in the region of Odate in Akita Prefecture. For a long time, the Akita Inu was mainly used as a hunting dog because of its fairly large size, fierce loyalty, and gentle character. With the Edo period, however, the big dogs also started gain popularity as fighting dogs, up until the Taisho era. The Akita Inu breed actually was Japan’s very first dog breed that was designated as a special natural treasure. In 1932, the Akita dog’s popularity suddenly spiked with a dog named Hachiko. In this year, a newspaper article appeared in a newspaper, telling the story of an Akita dog called Hachiko who kept waiting in front of Shibuya Station for his owner, Professor Hidesaburo Ueno. All of Japan was completely fascinated and moved by the dog’s fierce loyalty, calling him “chuken Hachiko,” or the faithful dog Hachiko. The dog and his story got so famous, a statue was erected in his honor right in front of Shibuya Station – today, this statue is one of Tokyo’s most famous meeting places.
Meet Layla, Our Affectionate Hachi Dog Sunrock’s Acclaim to Flame (Nickname: Layla) – July 31st, 2005 – February 14, 2018
Always greeting everyone with a kiss, Layla quickly earned her nickname “the kissing dog.” Naturally, she was chosen for the scenes to portray the bond between Professor Parker and his constant canine companion. Because of her outgoing, warm personality, Layla evoked emotions in the actor Richard Gere that were vital to the film’s ability to convey the enduring bond between man and dog.
In one scene, when Parkers friend Ken arrives at the train station, Layla sweetly “ad-libbed” her part, offering her paw as she said hello.
While some scenes required some creativity in order to get Layla to do what we needed (like baby food on Richard’s neck to get her to jump up), the scenes where Richard massaged Layla never needed any embellishment – Layla loved her massages! At one point, Richard spent nearly an hour with Layla to capture the perfect shot, giving her plenty of warmth and attention. Layla was in doggy heaven!
But it wasn’t just the massages Layla loved; she adored playing in the snow. On the night we filmed Hachis final scene with Professor Parker, we rushed to the train station to capture the fresh snow and Layla was as excited as can be.
As we used three Akitas (two males and one female) to portray the adult Hachi character, trainer David Allsberry recalls that during the filming Layla began to go into heat – “I created a custom hairpiece to cover up her lady parts” After all, Hachi is a boy!
The Seriousness of the National Akita Dog Competition
The National Akita Competition is a big chance for breeders to show off their beautiful Akita dogs. The Akita coming from all over Japan are judged in different categories, varying by age and sex. The criteria are things like posture, teeth, and more – each Akita is examined thoroughly from head to tail. In contrast to the dogs’ somewhat daydreamy expression, their owners were rather serious.
The Akita dogs who have completed the examination by the judges get to go on a little walk with their owners near the venture. Things immediately get a lot livelier as the serious part is over and the Akita get to show their true colors!
What type of dog is an Akita?
Are Akita and Shiba Inu the same?