Hachi-ko was born in 1923 in Odate and owned by Professor Eizaburo Ueno, who was a lecturer at Toyko University. At the age of two months Hachi-ko moved to Toyko. Each morning Hachi-ko accompanied the professor on his walk to Shibuya train station and waited each afternoon to accompany him on the walk home. One afternoon, in May 1925, the professor did not return. He had had a fatal stroke while at work.
Hachi-ko waited that night for his master to return, and was eventually taken into shelter by friends of the professor. After persistently running away from relatives who tried to care for him and returning each day to the station, Hachi-ko was eventually fed and cared for by the professor Ueno's gardener. For ten years he continued to wait and mourn for his master and during this time he became a living legend and a national hero. A statue of Hachi-ko was erected at Shibuya station in April 1934. Hachiko passed away one year later on March 8th 1935 at the age of 12 years and 5 months. The news of his death brought many visitors to the Shibuya station who covered Hachi-ko's statue with flowers, and a national day of mourning was declared. The smoke of burning incense was said to have turned the sunny day cloudy.
There are many Akita friends who saw the breed for the first time in the movie : Hachi a dog's tale (2009) , with Richard Gere.
What is less known is that this movie is a remake of the original 1987 movie (Hachiko Monogatari).
The original movie is available from the Internet Archive : Hachiko Monogatari (1987)
Photo by: Seiko Hayashi (Thank you Seiko)