Actor Richard Gere allegedly cried when he first read about the tale of a Japanese akita named Hachiko waiting at the Shibuya train station each day for its master who had died and never showed up.
The Hachiko statue is one of the most famous “meeting places” in Japan — and when I was there in June, I spent quite a bit of time hanging out in Hachiko’s plaza.
One of the disturbing parts of Hachiko’s history — for which the pup himself was not responsible — is that right wing Japanese nationalists used the Hachiko story as a way to propogandize the loyalty of the Japanese people to the Emperor during the war — supporting the Emperor under any conditions.
The movie, Hachiko: A Dog Story, opened today in Japan — but it’s not scheduled for release yet in the United States.
From the short bit of trailer posted above, my hunch is that the film does not get into the dicey issue of emperor worship.
— Steve Clemons