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Hachiko: The True Story of a Loyal Dog

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Imagine walking to the same place every day, to meet your best friend. Imagine watching hundreds of people pass by every morning and every afternoon. Imagine waiting, and waiting, and waiting. For ten years. This is what Hachiko did.
Hachiko was a real dog who lived in Tokyo, a dog who faithfully waited for his owner at the Shibuya train station long after his owner could not come to meet him. He became famous for his loyalty and was adored by scores of people who passed through the station every day. This is Hachiko’s story through the eyes of Kentaro, a young boy whose life is changed forever by his friendship with this very special dog. Simply told, and illustrated with Yan Nascimbene’s lush watercolors, the legend of Hachiko will touch your heart and inspire you as it has inspired thousands all over the world.

32 pages, Hardcover

First published May 25, 2004

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About the author

Pamela S. Turner

14 books41 followers
Pamela S. Turner has a master's degree in public health from the University of California, Berkeley, and an abiding fascination with science, animals, and evolution. She is the author of several award-winning books for young readers, including Samurai Rising, a YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award finalist, as well as Crow Smarts and The Frog Scientist, both winners of the AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books. Her newest book, How to Build a Human (In Seven Evolutionary Steps), tackles the origin of Homo sapiens with wit and clarity.

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5 stars
485 (56%)
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242 (28%)
3 stars
99 (11%)
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15 (1%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 119 reviews
Profile Image for Jon Nakapalau.
4,811 reviews646 followers
June 17, 2022
Based on the true story of Hachikō, the dog who waited for his owner after his death at Shibuya Station for 9 years. Japanese friends of mine tell me that this story really resonates with cultural expectations of loyalty. I will look for other books like this - a really good way to learn more about cultural values.
Profile Image for Roger DeBlanck.
Author 6 books117 followers
November 17, 2016
Hachiko is full of sadness and wonder about a dog waiting for his master. Turner does a fine job telling the story, and Nascimbene’s illustrations bring the dog to life. Nascimbene makes use of smaller pictures when he focuses on the dog exclusively, and when other aspects of the story are discussed, he uses larger spreads. The colors make use of both warmth and coolness, and everything has a touch of somber loveliness.
Profile Image for Lauren Hegedus.
206 reviews6 followers
September 22, 2021
Started crying when the book mentions how the statue’s paws are shiny because of people rubbing them and didn’t stop crying until well after I concluded the book. Hachiko was just the best boy and I love him and his story so very much.
Profile Image for SheAintGotNoShoes.
1,546 reviews1 follower
November 9, 2019
Beautiful story of a Japanese dog who faithfully waits at the train station for his owner to come home from work every nite and what happens one nite when he doesn't.

Moving and very touching !
Profile Image for Jo ☾.
243 reviews
April 15, 2015
This is an amazing story that I recently learned about. I watched the movie the other night and fell completely in love with it and with Hachiko, the remarkable Akita dog. I knew this was a story I wanted to remember forever so I immediately ordered this children's version as a keepsake and it doesn't disappoint. <3 I definitely encourage everyone to read up on this wonderful true story of a dog's love and loyalty.

The story takes place in Japan and tells the tale of an Akita puppy named Hachiko. Hachiko and his owner, Dr. Ueno, walk together to the train station every morning. Dr. Ueno is a professor at the Tokyo University. In the evening, when Dr. Ueno's train is due back at the station, Hachiko returns to meet him.

One day Dr. Ueno doesn't return on the evening train. Sadly, he had a heart attack at the University and died. Hachiko, continued to return to the train station every evening to wait for Dr. Ueno for 9 years. How amazing is that? Hachiko would come to wait in the same place everyday and became a regular, and much loved sight at the train station with many people providing him with food/water and taking care of him throughout the years. Hachiko died in the same spot where he always waited for Dr. Ueno and a bronze statue was erected in the very same place to remember Hachiko's love and loyalty. To this day, it remains a very popular meeting spot for people at the Shibuya station.

An incredibly sad and heartbreaking story but a truly amazing one as well and one I will never forget. <3
Profile Image for Stephanie.
20 reviews
November 26, 2017
Text-to-World Connection:

"Hachiko: The True Story of a Loyal Dog" is a wonderful story of friendship. The picture book shows the importance of friendship which I think is something the world seems to share and embrace. In the story, the main character begins a friendship with a furry friend. This type of friendship is one that most people can relate to that extends beyond upbringings. People tend to have good relationships with animals! This story does a great job at portraying this strong relationship. I think that it is a wonderful thing that happens, having a friend that is always there and does not always have to understand. This remarkable bond is somewhat unexplainable and I think most everyone would agree that it is special. Having a special friend that will always be faithful and loyal is awesome and uplifting. I am glad that we can experience this and hope that most people enjoy the company of their special animal friend. I definitely recommend this picture book for teaching friendship!
50 reviews1 follower
April 16, 2013
Hachiko is the story of an amazing dog that holds true to his owner even after his owner dies. A young boy named Kentaro is also featured in this book. He takes care of Hachiko at the train station after his owner, Dr. Ueno, dies. The strongest part of Hachiko is the dedication the dog shows to his owner and in turn the townspeople show to the dog. Every day for seven years the dog would show up to wait for Dr. Ueno, but the doctor never showed. The dog was so famous and inspirational that the people of Tokyo actually made a statue of him. It is well known as a meeting place for people at that very same train station that Hachiko waited at so many years ago. This book teaches a great lesson on how important it is to stay loyal. I feel that loyalty can be taken for granted many times, but through this tale students can learn how being loyal can impact so many lives.
40 reviews
December 7, 2015
Hachiko by Pamela S. Turner is based on a true story about a dog in Japan that was adopted by a professor off the streets. Hachiko adored his master so much that he would follow him to the train station and watch him get on to leave to work and waits for his master to come back everyday. One day Hachiko’s master never came back from his business trip leaving Hachiko alone. Hachiko’s loyalty and persistence shows throughout the book when he continues to visit the train station waiting for his master to return. Hachiko: The True Story of a Loyal Dog is a great story to read to students about loyalty and loss. The story starts off bright but later turns dark when the owner passes away leaving the dog alone. Students can relate to this by thinking of a time when they had to go through something difficult in their life.
Profile Image for Ruhama.
247 reviews5 followers
December 9, 2009
The subtitle to the book is The True Story of a Loyal Dog, and is about a puppy who would wait for his owner every morning and evening at the train station in Tokyo. One evening, the master did not return from university, as he had died, but the dog continued to wait. The story is told from a little boy’s perspective, and he marvels at how people start to take care of the dog as the years pass and his owner never arrives home. Eventually, the dog dies and a statue is erected in his honor. The book is sweet, simple and will be a treat for dog lovers. The illustrations are simple, yet colorful, and capture the essence of Japan. The only thing not included is a photo of the statue, and that was disappointing.
60 reviews1 follower
November 18, 2016
A heartwarming story of a dog and the love he has for his owner. Based off of a true story, we watch as a dog faithfully waits for his owner every day until one day his owner did not come to meet him. Hachiko became famous for his loyalty and his love for not only his owner, but everyone he came in contact with.
I actually cried during this book! I loved it that much. How beautiful to show how much we mean to our pets. It is true that they are only part of our life, but to them we are their whole life.
I would definitely use this book in a therapy session. It would be great to show a child about loyalty and friendship and even love. Possibly even in a group session this would be excellent to use!
Profile Image for Lauren Barone.
41 reviews
October 17, 2013
Story books of animals, in my opinion, are the most interesting. This story of Hachiko, the dog who lived in Japan, was an amazing story. Hachiko was a loyal dog who caught the attention of many people living in Japan. He waited every day for his friend to come and see him at the station. Many grew to love and adore this dog. It teaches children the loyalty of animals and about the concept of loyalty.

This book most likely won this award for it's beautifully illustrated pictures. This picture book matches perfectly with the texts on each page to make it easy for the reader to jump right into the story.
Profile Image for Sherry.
694 reviews15 followers
April 30, 2010
Tokyo's Shibuya train station is the setting for the true, heart-warming story of loyalty and love from the dog named "Hachiko", a man's best friend. Hachiko accompanied his master to and from the train station each day. The loyal dog continued this routine for many years after his master's death. Before Hachiko died, citizens placed a commemorative statue of him at the station. Today, after more than 75 years, the statue remains a happy place for family and friends to reunite. Recommended for readers aged 7-9.
Profile Image for Ana.
337 reviews
October 22, 2010
I first learned of Hachiko while watching a preview for a movie of the same name. I was not aware that a picture book existed that told the story of this amazing dog. What a gentle, beautiful creature to patiently and loyally wait for a master long gone. Of course, the story brought tears to my eyes, and of course, much like young Kentaro, I also wondered if Hachiko knew that his master had died. This particular picture book is filled with beauty in its simplicity, allowing the words to tell the tale, and the watercolor illustrations to add to the warmth of the message.
51 reviews2 followers
September 30, 2013
This book is based on a true story about a loyal dog who faithfully journeyed to a train station in Tokyo to await his friend's daily return, long after the man had died. The illustrations are simple and pretty, and the story is moving and inspirational. It is an excellent vehicle for exploring loyalty, friendship, and devotion; and who doesn't love an amazing dog story? As an added bonus, the author adds an interesting, short summary of the real story of Japan's Hachiko at the book's end. I loved the author's take on this heartwarming story.
Profile Image for Stephen Wallace.
506 reviews69 followers
July 1, 2021
Nice quick read. Illustrations are nice. Good one to read to kids and talk about loyalty.

Then read Dog Man: An Uncommon Life on a Faraway Mountain and relate to your child on details from that book on Akita's and their history. In that other book you learn about that the story of Hachiko was before WWII. It was used as a great lesson for loyalty, but wasn't strong enough for most of the Akita's to be killed off in WWII becuase people were starving, and why feed dogs, and there was a bounty as the fur was used to line flyers coats or vests.
Profile Image for Paul.
1,793 reviews
February 18, 2012
I knew nothing about the actual Hachiko before reading the book, so didn't know whether the true story was going. Nascimbene's fine illustrations bring a quality to the story that roots it to Japan, and the narrative is a good fit for the visual component of the book. It helps to work with a lovely story to begin with, but the author and illustrator have combined their skills to make this a lovely book as well.
Profile Image for Tanja.
1,098 reviews
September 17, 2012
I had seen the movie about Hachiko a couple of months ago and was surprised to find this picture book version of the story in my new library. It made me cry, just like the movie. I knew right away that this is one of those picture book treasures I need to have on my shelf. I am also determined to visit Japan (hopefully in the not too far future) and to see the train station in front of which Hachiko waited so loyally for his master. A moving story, well retold and beautifully illustrated.
Profile Image for Brenda Lambert.
20 reviews
December 5, 2014
The loyalty and love a dog can have is a powerful thing and creates happiness in many people and that is just what I felt while reading this book. As someone who grew up with pet dogs, I have felt just how happy having a dog can make someone feel and in this book Hachiko made everyone happy, simply because he was a loyal, friendly and excited dog. This excitement of having a dog has always made reading books about dogs enjoyable because 9 times of 10 the story is a cheerful story.
Profile Image for Shannon.
963 reviews2 followers
March 22, 2016
Having lived in Japan, I have not only heard the story of Hachiko but waited for friends by his statue at the Shibuya Train Station and even used to have the cutest doggone Hachiko hankie. Hachiko's story is true and lovely. In this book, it is retold and illustrated well for the youngest new little fans of Hachiko.

Does anyone know if Ueno Train Station is named after Dr. Ueno? Please tell me if you know the answer.
47 reviews
December 6, 2016
This story gets me in the feels everytime I read it. I'm a dog lover and have fur babies at home and this story hits home for me so often. The story surround a dog named Hachi, and after his master passes away suddenly he begins to wait. He waits for days, months, years, until his owner finally returns to take him home one last time. A great story about loyalty and the bond humans can have with their pets.
Profile Image for Loren.
178 reviews4 followers
July 1, 2010
Hachiko, a dog who kept vigil for nearly 10 years at a Tokyo train station, waiting for his deceased master to return from work. Turner unfolds this poignant true story in the natural, unaffected voice of Kentaro, a fictional little boy, who wonders at the dog's unswerving devotion. This book is better than the recent movie!
Profile Image for Courtney.
735 reviews158 followers
March 3, 2013
Really nice illustrations, and Hachiko's story was really sweet. It reminded me of one I'd heard that happened in Scotland (I think), too... I can't remember that dogs' name, though. Something Jack - Sweetfriar Jack?

Anyway, it's a really cute book, nice illustrations. Definitely worth checking out!
44 reviews
October 8, 2013
i enjoyed this book, i liked that it was based on a true story about Hachiko. it was very sad when the dog Mr. Ueno passed away and Hachiko was just sitting there waiting for him to return. it was also sad when Hachiko died. i liked that these social studies books are very different from each other.
October 14, 2013
I liked this story. It was a sad and touching story of a dog who was forever loyal to his master and not only a boy buy an entire community who grew to love the dog and homered him with a statue. I feel it's a very well written story and not only teaches about loyalty but also about another culture.
Profile Image for Kathleen Dixon.
3,545 reviews59 followers
September 16, 2017
I saw the story of this dog, Hachiko, when I was following another dog story (Gobi - and I'd link it but the computer I'm on isn't letting me). There have been quite a few books written about Hachiko - this one is fiction and quite sweet.

If I do a study on Japan with the kids (we homeschool them) I shall be sure to borrow this from the library as part of it.
Profile Image for Rachel.
457 reviews
March 17, 2018
A nice picture book fiction story of the real Hachiko dog. I've always loved this story...of the dog who loved his master so much, he wouldn't leave the spot where they'd meet up each day after work at the train station. This is a true story to introduce to kids, with unique, artistic pictures.
Profile Image for Ms Threlkeld.
4,269 reviews16 followers
March 18, 2017
May be a bit too text heavy to holder younger readers' interest, but very sweet story about loyalty and friendship that will have most people tearing up at the end.
4 reviews
May 16, 2017
This book was heartwarming because it showed a bond between a man and a dog. Even the story did a great job showing loyalty to its owner.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 119 reviews

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