a The Transit Lounge: Hachiko

Back in the Day: I had a quarter life crisis, headed to Osaka, Japan for the unknown–only to discover that a passport plane ride are not necessarily a ticket to escape. Some Years Later: Settled back in Oz, the man of my dreams ended up in Tokyo for work–which is how a passport and plane ride showed me home is where the heart is. And Now: Well as luck would have it, we are about to embark on Japan Mark 3, with a baby in tow and another on the way...

Friday, May 21


Last night my husband and I watched the movie Hachiko, starring Richard Gere. In terms of storyline, it was probably one of the worst films I have ever seen. But is was also one of the most heart wrenching movies.

Based on the Japanese tale of Hachiko, an Akita dog born in 1923 who was owned by Professor Ueno. Hachiko and Ueno would walk together everyday to Shibuya station, where the professor would catch a train to work. Hachiko would then return at the end of the day to meet the professor's train so that they could go home together.

Professor Ueno died in 1925. Although his master was gone, Hachiko continued to wait for his him at Shibuya Station until his own death in 1935. That's 9 long, lonely years without his best friend.

A while back, a statue of Hachiko was erected at Shibuya Station in memory of Hachiko and Prof. Ueno. It is now one of the most popular meeting points in Tokyo, if not Japan.

The movie remained true to this part, except it was set in the mid-90s, with Richard Gere dying in 1998. Hachi waited another 10 years, refusing to go home. He slept at the rail station and was fed by the kindness of those people working at and using the station. By the end, it didn't matter that the story line was non-existent. I could barely see the TV through my tears!

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