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This is a true love story of a dog who waited based on a real event in Tokyo in the 1920’s. (Spoilers following!)
I recently saw a movie on DVD called ‘Hachi. A Dog’s Tale.’ It’s about a puppy from Japan who is sent to America, gets lost on arrival and meets a music professor played by Richard Gere. The loving bond between the man and dog is beautifully and delicately portrayed until the man unexpectedly dies. The dog who had been to the railway station every day to farewell and meet his owner continued to wait for ten years in the hope to see his Master again.
The respect and acceptance that the family and community then show in following the dog’s process teaches us all to support ourselves and others to make choices that are not apparently understandable. This is the path to freedom where we are no longer caught in the net of societal restrictions, conventions, habits and values that no longer suit us.
Things are not necessarily as they appear. The story exemplifies that we need to allow ourselves to follow the unexpected. Paying exceptional attention to what moves us deeply rather than living our lives conceding to others expectations can enhance our ability to also touch and inspire the lives of others.
This simple heart-rending tale of love and loss with haunting and beautiful music calls forth in us a deep and sharp longing for profound connection and love. The Akita breed of dog portrayed is known for its nobility, intelligence, integrity, dignity and autonomy. The community around the railway station responded to these qualities and Hachi’s determination and they unified to look after the dog. The group psychology allowed them not to adhere to mainstream beliefs of what should traditionally happen. This is even more amazing, given it occurred in real life in a Japanese neighbourhood over ninety years ago.
Hachiko, the dog whom the movie is based on, lived in the wild near the railway line and returned to the train station every day for 10 years until he died in 1935. A year before his death, Shibuya Station installed a bronze statue of Hachiko, and although the original statue was melted down during World War II, a new version was created in 1948 by the artist’s son. To this day there is a statue of Hachiko still there. We are told that it has become the place where lovers meet up at the station.
The ‘mysterious, powerful and iconic’ story resonates with us partially because of the feeling of ‘I’m always going to be with you’ even beyond death. The gentle pace, tone and tempo creates a harmony of wisdom and sweetness which captures a quality of transcendence. It links us all in a dreamlike spell of interconnectedness, integrity and the power of love, inspiration and hope.
Trust in the process, dear friends.