Hachiko Monogatari (ハチ公物語) is a highly-rated Japanese film that was originally released on 1st August 1987.

China released a movie on 31st March 2023 that was based on the original. I decided I wanted to watch the Japanese version which is better rated than the Chinese one. There was an American version as well but I’m really not interested in viewing a “Hollywood” version of the original story and they say it just took away all the Japanese cultural references.

Hachiko MonogatariAbout

A puppy was born in Akita Prefecture and sent as a gift to Professor Ueno of Tokyo University. They didn’t want to have another dog but their daughter was desperate to have one, the Professor bonded really well with Hachiko. The dog accompanied the Professor to the train station every morning and would walk back there in the evening when he came home from work. However, one-day disaster struck. The movie is based on a true story.

More about Hachiko and the statue can be found on the Time Out website.


Nakadai Tatsuya (仲代達矢) as Professor Ueno Shujiro
He is considered one of the best actors in Japanese history. He was born on 13th December 1932 and is now 90 years old. His first on-screen appearance was a judge on the TV show Kouhaku Uta Gassen. He has appeared in many films since 1954. He said he accidentally became an actor, he was previously working as a clerk in a shop in Tokyo.

Yachigusa Kaoru (八千草薫) as Ueno Shizuko (the Professor’s wife)
She was an actress from Osaka Prefecture. She was married to director Senkichi Taniguchi. They have both now, unfortunately, passed away.


The dog is the star of the show, the rest of the cast were on the sidelines, like extras. This is how it should be, Hachiko is pretty much a legend in Japan and the focus was definitely reflected in the movie.

Even though the movie is pretty sad to watch it’s really well done. There are humans who you will love and some you will not like at all, the daughter is the villain. In real life people ask themselves “Oh how can you not be responsible for the dog you wanted so much”, but in the movie at least there was one beacon of hope in the world which was the Professor.

It doesn’t feel as though this movie was made in 1987 and I’m sure most issues in there remain relevant today.

It does seem that Hachiko’s full story wasn’t reflected in the film, the fact that he had a larger human family, was there at the unveiling of his own statue and that he passed away due to cancer.

Whatever happened, Hachiko has turned into an international legend thanks to popular culture.

I will give this movie a 4/5, marked down as it could have addressed more on the dog’s real life.