Hachiko Waits

Inspired by a true story, Hachiko Waits, by Lesléa Newman, makes a time-honored Japanese tale available for 3rd-5th grade English-language audiences. 

Hachiko is the name of a real-life dog that has become a national symbol for loyalty and devotion. As the tale goes, Hachiko would accompany his owner to the train station each morning, then return in the afternoon in time to greet his master. When Dr. Ueno did not appear one day, Hachiko continued to wait. For close to a decade.

Children learn about Hachiko in school, his image is seen throughout Japan, and each year, this special Akita is honored with a celebration at the spot where he kept watch for his master. To this day, a statue of Hachiko occupies a prominetn location at Tokyo's Shibuya Station, and is a popular meeting point (pictured above).

We've created several resources to help educators use Hachiko Waits in the classroom. Educators in the Five Colleges area of western Massachusetts may borrow our Hachiko Waits culture kit for a two-week period. Click here to see a description of the items in this culture kit.

If you’re hesitant to use this book because you aren’t comfortable with the Japanese words in the book, we’ve created an aid for you. Click here to hear the words pronounced by a native Japanese speaker. 

Curious to know what Hachiko’s home might have looked like? Download this PowerPoint with photos of a typical Japanese home.

Looking for more resources to help you and your students learn about Japanese culture? These resources will point you in the right direction:

  1. http://web-japan.org/kidsweb/cook/index.html
  2. http://web-japan.org/kidsweb/cook/rice/rice04.html
  3. http://web-japan.org/kidsweb/cook/sushi/index.html
  4. http://web-japan.org/kidsweb/cook/soba/index.html

Just One Cookbook:   Easy Japanese Recipes (blog) by Namiko Chen

  1. Yakitori:  http://www.justonecookbook.com/yakitori/

How to use chopsticks



Akita dogs

Information about the breed:  http://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/akita/

Information about Children’s Day celebrations

  1. http://web-japan.org/kidsweb/explore/calendar/may/children.html
  2. Elementary lesson plan with songs and craft activities:  http://aboutjapan.japansociety.org/content.cfm/kodomo_no_hi_childrens_day_celebration   or  
  3. http://kids.asiasociety.org/explore/childrens-day-japan-kodomo-no-hi