7/28/2015 4:51:48 PM
Subject: hachiko and tama
Many of you are probably familiar with the films Hachiko Monogatari (1987) and an American remake of the film, Hachi: A Dog's Tale (2009). The films are readily available and certain to please. The original is based on the true story of Prof. Ueno and his akita, Hachiko. Hachiko would show up at the train station to wait for Prof. Ueno each day. This went on for years. Even after the Ueno's death, Hachiko would wait. People were so moved they put a statue of the dog at the station. Hachiko's devotion deeply touched Japanese audiences decades later who made it the top film at the box office in 1987. Here's a NY Times piece about Hachiko: http://www.nytimes.com/1997/09/14/magazine/from-john-harvard-to-ramses-ii-tokyo.html
And just this year, another statue was erected for the Professor and his dog on the University of Tokyo campus: http://en.rocketnews24.com/2015/03/09/hachikos-new-statue-is-now-open-to-the-public-and-weve-got-pictures-and-video-from-our-visit/
Japanese original: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82H-HyQUhqk
American remake: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JImj5lV7al4 (rental fee)
But cat lovers shouldn't despair. I've attached a recent obituary for Tama, the cat who has been the stationmaster at Kishi station. It includes a picture of Tama wearing his cap and badge. He was a "tortoise shell" cat and was thought to be an auspicious resident of the station. Tama II is now on the job.
Can you find other cases in Asia where animals become symbols of particular virtues or places? (Our discussion here must be limited to Asia, but there's obviously many places, including USC where we have a statue for George Tirebiter (http://www.usctrojans.com/trads/usc-tire.html ; http://articles.latimes.com/2009/sep/27/local/me-then27).
edited by Clay Dube on 7/28/2015