To focus awareness on the plight of the isolated Fukushima dogs, the Hachiko Coalition is spearheading a fundraising drive.
The Hachiko Coalition officially announced the launch of its “Bring Hachi Home” campaign after the March 11th tsunami that crippled the Fukushima nuclear power plant.
I kicked off the campaign by donating autographed black-and-white portraits of Chico and me. The handsome Akita is one of the three Akita dog stars in “Hachi: A Dog’s Tale.” The shoot took place at the animal trainer’s ranch, Animals For Hollywood, just outside of Los Angeles during a break between filming.
The Hachiko Coalition will sell the Chico portraits to help raise funds for animal rescue and relief groups working in Japan. One hundred percent of all sales will go to support these groups and the animals.
Informally created during Hurricane Katrina to provide contract support to the U.S. Air Force for civilian emergency evacuation, the Hachiko Coalition regrouped and renamed following the catastrophe in Japan. Currently, the coalition is working to draw attention to the plight of animals and pets left behind within the Fukushima radioactive exclusion zone.
Bring Hachi Home
“Hachi: A Dog’s Tale” is based on a true story about the unconditional loyalty of a Japanese Akita toward his master in the 1920s-1930s. The dog, Hachi, patiently waited each evening for his master at Shibuya Station in Tokyo.
One day, his master never arrived; he had suffered a heart attack. Following his master’s death, Hachi was placed with family members but would escape to the train station, keeping his vigil.
He waited almost 10 years for his master to come home.
Hachi became a celebrity and a legend. The local paper wrote stories about him, and he became a national symbol. He was the subject of a 1987 hit Japanese movie called “Hachiko Monogatari.” The story came to symbolize the loyalty and love that animals have for their owners.
Today, a Hachiko statue stands right outside the Shibuya Station. The statue is a well-known meeting place and is visited by thousands each year in tribute to the loyal dog.
For more information on how to help, go to the Hachiko Coalition’s website at http://hachikocoaltion.org or the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/hachiko.coalition. Information will be posted on how to purchase an autographed photo and other auction items to help save the Fukushima animals