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Home » Asia in My Classroom » a dog story - hachiko/hachi

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12/16/2015 9:00:48 PM

Clay Dube
Clay Dube
Posts: 1921
Can stories about pets or famous animals illuminate important aspects of a country's culture, its value system? The story of Hachi can.

Japan's most famous dog was Hachi, an akita, who met his master at a train station every day and went to the station daily for years after his master's passing. There are a number of books about Hachi, including:

Some teachers have used Hachiko: The True Story of a Loyal Dog by Pamela Turner with elementary school students. The website includes information for teachers.

And many have seen the film starring Richard Gere that is an adaptation of the story. (Gere also starred in Shall We Dance, an adaptation of a popular Japanese film.)

Some interesting resources:
Not long ago a photo of Hachiko surfaced:

Rhode Island, where the Richard Gere film was shot, is now commemorating the dog's loyalty:
12/18/2015 12:36:53 PM

Posts: 33
Subject: Random Gere Question
Random, and most likely irrelevant, question regarding Richard Gere's ethnic heritage: What is his relation to Japanese ancestry? Perhaps it is only through this program that I notice Richard Gere's film selections include a substantial number of Japanese [inspired] films: "Hachi", the dutiful Japanese dog, "Shall We Dance", and most convincing: "Rhapsody in August", a generational reflection on the Nagasaki bombing where he plays a sansei - third generation Japanese American immigrant (with mixed heritage). Any insight?

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