Hachikō (ハチ公) was a purebred Akita dog who has since become a symbol of Undying Loyalty from a Canine Companion in Japanese culture. After he was taken as a pet by Tokyo University professor Hidesaburō Ueno in 1924, he would go to Shibuya Station daily to wait for Ueno to return home from work. However in 1925, Ueno suddenly died of a brain hemorrhage while teaching a lecture, this did not stop Hachikō from his daily routine of travelling to Shibuya Station to wait for his owner to come home for the next 10 years until his own death on March 8, 1935. After a 1932 newspaper article brought Hachikō to national attention, he became a permanent symbol of loyalty and faithfulness, and earned the nickname Chūken Hachikō (忠犬ハチ公, "faithful dog Hachikō"). He joined the ranks of modern-day Japanese folklore because of this unswerving loyalty to his dead master.
Three bronze statues of him now stand: Tokyo's Shibuya station (where he waited for master), Odate's train station (Odate was where Hachiko was born) and Odate's Akita Dog Museum (which was built in honour of him, and other Akitas). There is also a monument that stands next to Professor Ueno's grave in Aoyama Cemetary. The Shibuya statue is an extremely popular spot for people to meet, particularly lovers because of its symbolic representation of commitment and loyalty. In March 2016, a new statue of him and Prof. Ueno was raised, reuniting the two after 80 years.
Works that feature Hachiko the dog:
- Hachi: A Dog's Story is a 2009 American remake of Hachiko Monogatari. Instead of Japan, it takes place in the United States but the general idea is the same. The only reason the dog still has a Japanese name despite the setting is because he came from Japan and got separated in a train station from the cargo he was in. The main character (played by Richard Gere) finds him abandoned and the story begins.
- Hachiko Monogatari is a 1987 Japanese film based on Hachiko's story.
Works that Hachiko is Referenced by...:
- In Nana, one of the two titular Nanas (Nana Komatsu) is nicknamed "Hachiko" because of her loyalty, but also due to her personality being rather doglike in general (being very excitable and clingy towards those she loves). The nickname is generally shortened to "Hachi," since "hachi" means "eight," and "nana" means "seven".
- An appropriately squicky parody of Hachiko shows up in Franken Fran, who puts the brain of Pudding (Hachiko's equivalent here) in the body of a balding, portly middle-aged man (she at least gives him underwear); the "dog" remains his usual affectionate self. Did I mention the dog's owner is a little girl? After defending his owner from rapists, the girl Emily accepts and loves her dog, even if his form is a bit weird. Unfortunately she gets pneumonia and dies in a faraway hospital, leaving the poor dog-man to waste away while awaiting her return. Of course, a statue of the loyal man-dog is built in his memory.
Fran: I thought they addressed the bestiality quite tastefully.
- Hachiko is parodied when a movie changes Pudding into a handsome bishounen, who then gets into an explicit romantic relationship with Emily's aged-up counterpart even though she's still aware he's a dog inside. Veronica, who insisted on saving the dog in the first place, is horrified. Fran, on the other hand...
- Fortune Dogs includes an expy of Hachiko in one episode who suffers the same fate as the real one.
- One of Luffy's earliest adventures in One Piece pays Hachiko a homage in the form of a dog who waits and guards his late master's pet food shop.
- In Gintama, when Kagura is having trouble sleeping, they listen to a variation of the story on a radio talk show. The dog is named Jerry rather than Hachiko and instead of dying, he turns into a seemingly harmless old man that turned into a monster. Cue Gintoki screaming hilariously in horror and kicking the radio out cold.
- Gals! takes place in Shibuya, where Hachiko's statue is located. The statue is prominently featured at several points in the anime's opening (and even comes to life and dances with the three main characters), and will sometimes show up as part of a joke in the series itself.
- An episode of Pokémon: The Series features a Ninetales who's been waiting for its master, the owner of a mansion who died centuries ago and never returned, and mistook Brock for him due to their physical resemblance. At the end, Brock shattered Ninetales' Poké Ball to release it so it could go free.
- Infinity Train: Seeker of Crocus: Professor Cerise's text to his daughter has him reference how Yamper — the family pet who is extremely loyal to Chloe — waits for her return at the Cerise Institute. Bonus points in that Chloe was picked up by the Infinity Train, mirroring how Professor Ueno would take a train to work.
- In the second-season premiere of The Naked Director, an old lady is looking for the Hachiko statue. Takei, the supremely cynical cop, says "Are you looking for that filthy dog? He died long ago!"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! has a set of cards based on Hachiko, a couple of which are more than a little creepy. "Outstanding Dog Marron" is an adorable puppy waiting for its master. "Skull Dog Marron" is an animated skeletal dog which wandered off 1,000 years ago, and has been waiting for its master to come looking for it. "Mecha-Dog Marron" is a mechanized version of Marron, still trying to find its owner. "Mad Dog of Darkness" shows Marron corrupted by evil and mutated into a fearsome beast. Even though the card itself doesn't call the dog Marron, it has the same dog tag as all the others. Incidentally, Outstanding Dog Marron will always return to the deck.
- Dandy Dungeon II is set in a parodistic version of Tokyo and, as such, it has many bizarre versions of locations and landmarks. In Shibuya you can meet as enemies "Hachiko Zombie", which are Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
- Referred to in NetHack. Most character classes begin with a random, nameless pet animal: Samurai always receive a little dog named Hachi.
- Koromaru from Persona 3 is a Fictional Counterpart of Hachiko. Even a year after his owner was killed, Koromaru would still go on the same walk that his owner used to take him on every day. Koromaru is eventually revealed have a human-like intelligence and joins the party as a Team Pet to avenge his master, who turns out to have been killed by Shadows.
- In Persona 5, a book that the protagonist can read is titled "Buchiko" telling the story of a dog waiting for his master's return.
- In the front of Lumiose Station in Pokémon X and Y, there are two Skiddo sleeping next to each other, which is rather cute. Talk to the old lady in the other side of the street, and she tells you the two of them were abandoned and are waiting there every day for their old Trainer to return.
- The Futurama episode "Jurassic Bark" bears a resemblance to the story of Hachiko, as the dog, Seymour Asses, meets with Fry every day at the Pizzeria where he works. In this case, the statue was actually Seymour himself after he got "flash-fossilized". Cue massive tears from the entire audience and crew.
Works that feature the Hachiko statue:
- The main characters of Gals! often congregate around the statue of Hachiko.
- Mirai briefly waits for a male friend (on whom she has a crush) by the statue of Hachiko in one episode.
- Recovering the original Hachiko statue from thieves who had stolen it is one of the things that brings "Captain Tokyo" to the media's attention.
- The statue can be seen in Risky☆Safety.
- Hachiko makes a cameo appearance in the first Death Note movie, in a scene where news of Kira's exploits are starting to spread.
- In Digimon Adventure, Patamon gets lost and overhears a couple of teenage girls talking about how Hachiko is where to go if you want to meet up with someone. The dub just says "the park," though.
- In Manga no Tsukurikata Morishita asks Takeda to meet her at Hachiko; she notes that country people seem to be fond of it.
- In Tenchi in Tokyo, Nobuyuki (Tenchi's dad) blurted out "It's fashionable to meet at the Hachiko statue" in an attempt to be one of those "with it" dads. This was left in the dub, probably puzzling many.
- In Kaguya-sama: Love Is War, Kaguya and Shirogane planned on meeting at Hachiko for a shopping trip regarding the upcoming party for the visiting French students (the shopping trip ends up being cancelled due to a sudden storm). The statue is also used as an establishing shot during the several story arcs set during Christmas Eve despite none of the characters ever going anywhere near Shibuya station.
- In My Dress-Up Darling, Hachiko's statue is briefly seen in Episode 10, when Gojo and Marin arrive to the Shibuya station.
- In the Love Hina Christmas movie, Hachiko's statue is one of the places where Naru and Keitaro fail to meet up on Christmas Eve.
- Being set completely in Shibuya, The World Ends with You naturally features Hachiko. It's where Neku first partners with Shiki at the beginning of the game, and when he needs to find new partners in Weeks 2 and 3 he deliberately goes there to meet people. Also, on Day 2, Neku and Shiki are tasked with removing a curse from Hachiko.
- Hachiko also appears in the sequel, NEO: The World Ends with You. It doesn't quite have the same prominence as in the first game, but in the ending it is where Neku and Shiki reunite for the first time in three years. In the postgame, it also serves as the spot where you can swap out party members.
- Megami Tensei II: A Hachiko statue is still intact yet became a portal to the netherworld.
- In Shin Megami Tensei IMAGINE, if you look hard enough, you can find an intact statue of Hachiko in post-apocalyptic Shibuya. Except he looks kind of grey...And small.
- In Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne, Decarabia waits for his friend Forneus by the statue of Hachiko. Forneus, however, is the game's first boss and has already been killed by the protagonist at this point.
- In what is clearly a homage to Hachiko, the city area of the first Megaman Star Force game has a statue of a dog (Who in the English translation is named Rover). You meet Sonia there for your date, er, shopping trip.