Hachiko: The True Story of a Loyal Dog Book Poster Image

Hachiko: The True Story of a Loyal Dog



Hachiko waits for his master, even after he dies.

What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable
Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Hachiko's devoted friendship and loyalty will appeal to young children.

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

Kentaro goes to the train station to meet his father, and there gets to know Hachiko, Dr. Ueno's loyal dog. Hachiko walks Dr. Ueno to the station every day, and every day he's waiting there when Dr. Ueno returns in the evening.

But one night Dr. Ueno doesn't return -- he has died at work. Hachiko returns every night to wait for him, even after he is taken miles away. Kentaro, his family, and others bring him food and water. This goes on for years, until finally Hachiko himself dies. And at the spot where he waited so faithfully, the townspeople erect a statue in his memory.

Is it any good?


Like a Japanese haiku, this book is as notable for what's missing as for what's present. Based on a true story, it is spare, elegant, without any cloying Western sentimentality -- no tugging at the heartstrings, no anthropomorphizing, no dramatic death scenes, just a matter-of-fact telling of an affecting true story through the eyes of a fictional boy.

Though the story is universal, the author and illustrator adroitly drop in details of Japanese life: "Ladies in kimonos walked carefully, trying to keep their white tabi socks away from the grime of the streets." The author also includes a "Story About the Story."

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether Hachiko waits hoping Dr. Ueno will return, or to honor his memory.

Book details

Author:Pamela S. Turner
Illustrator:Yan Nascimbene
Genre:Picture Book
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Houghton Mifflin Children's Books
Publication date:November 29, 2004
Number of pages:32

This review of Hachiko: The True Story of a Loyal Dog was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Kid, 12 years old May 31, 2012

it is awesome

it was the best book i read and it was emotional at the end cause i love dogs buy it read it i am sure anybody who loves reading or loves dog will lot this book
What other families should know
Educational value


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?