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Famous Akitas: Meet Our Famous Akita Friends

Photo of Hachiko’s Statue, Image by Nick115 from Pixabay

Like many other dog breeds, Akitas can be found all around us. In fact, it may even be more than we think!

While they might not always get their spot in the limelight, they have made quite a few notable appearances in all different types of media. 

We’ll go through some of the TV shows, movies, games, and real-life famous Akitas in this article. It’s going to be a fun one!

Famous Akita Movie Stars

Hachi: A Dog’s Tale (2009)

When you think of Akitas, the movie “Hachi” is likely the first thing that comes to your mind. It follows the story of Hachiko, a loyal example of the Akita breed who waits for his master, Professor Ueno at the train station every day for nine years.

Unfortunately, Professor Ueno passed away while at work one day, but that does not stop Hachiko from waiting for his beloved master endlessly.

Many of the names and places in this version are changed from the original story, however.

Before our eyes fill with tears, let’s talk about the beautiful Akitas that were used in the film.

In this movie, three different Akitas were used.

The first was Chico, an Akita who was truly aloof in all aspects. He went by the name Chico “Clapton” Harden.

The second was Layla, the only female Akita used in the movie. Her name was Sunrock’s Acclaim to Fame.

And last is Forrest, the oldest of the dogs. His name was Baycrest’s Run Forrest Run.

These three dogs solidified the legacy of Akitas in film, showing the loyalty and love that they are truly capable of. And most importantly, they honored the late Hachiko, a dog that will always rest in the hearts of all Akita owners.

For even more information on these beautiful dogs and the movie, check out this awesome website.

You can grab the Hachi movie for yourself to see Chico, Layla, and Forrest here.

Hachi-ko Monogatari (1987)

While most in North America will be familiar with Hachi: A Dog’s Tale, this is a true retelling of Hachiko that was produced in Japan. The former was much more Americanized, but this movie sticks true with the characters and story.

“Hachi: A Dog’s Tale” changes names and other aspects of the original story, but still tells the story of the famous Hachiko that we know and love.

Unfortunately, I’m unable to find the name of the pup or pups used in the Japanese film. If anyone knows, I’d love to add it to the article so that we can celebrate them too!

Famous Akitas in TV

Ginga: Nagareboshi Gin (Silver Fang)/Anime & Manga

Did you know that Akitas are represented in anime? In fact, this anime is dedicated completely to an Akita dog.

It first started off as a manga series, which later was adapted into the anime series which aired in 1986.

The beauty of this anime is that it even gets into a little bit of Akita history. It’s no secret that the predecessors of Akitas were used for hunting bears, and that’s exactly what they set out to do in this series.

We follow Gin, who is tasked to fight a bear that attacked and killed his father shortly after he was born. He and his master Daisuke train and prepare Gin, and they have unwavering loyalty to one another. Gin struggles with loss and the hatred of unfairness in the world throughout the series.

However, he always remains strong and loyal to all those around him

A few Akitas in this anime:

  • Gin, the Tora-ge (Silver Brindle) Akita

  • Riki, Gin’s Father

  • Fuji, Gin’s mother

  • Aka, Riki’s son from another litter, Gin’s brother

Ginga Legend Weed, Ginga Densetsu Weed (2006)

The continuation of “Ginga: Nagareboshi Gin” is this anime, “Ginga Densetsu Weed.” It takes place just 14 years after the first series.

It follows Gin and his friends, with Gin captured and imprisoned. He has a mate named Sakura in this series and a son named Weed.

Weed is a mix of an Akita Inu (Gin) and Kishu Inu (Sakura). He very much resembles his father and has four pups of his own, who are also Akita Inu/Kishu Inu mixes.

 

Shiroi Senshi Yamato (1976, Manga)

In the “Ginga” series is another which follows the white Akita, Yamato. Yamato’s goal is to become the ultimate fighting dog which he works toward throughout the series.

There are also many purebred Akitas within this series.

Hoshi Mamoru Inu (Star Watching Dog) (2011 Film, 2008 Manga)

The Hachi movies may go down in history as some of the most famous Akitas in media, but this lesser-known film is just as touching.

Hoshi Mamoru Inu follows Daddy, the owner of Happie, a white Akita Inu. After being fired and going through a nasty divorce, Daddy and Happie take off on a road trip.

Throughout the trip, Daddy and Happie experience a series of hardships like health problems and money struggles. It seems as though the two just can’t seem to catch a break.

Daddy and Happie shared such an incredible bond very similar to that seen in the Hachi films, that many scenes are extremely hard to watch.

Like most media, the manga and movie of Hoshi Mamoru Inu differ in a few big ways despite the premise being the same.

For example, the story differs in viewpoints and other areas as well.

Overall, it’s an incredibly sad story that truly shows how loyal our magnificent breed is.

Sunō Purinsu: Kinjirareta Koi no Merodii (Snow Prince – Forbidden Love Melody) (2009 Film)

While this movie doesn’t necessarily revolve around the Akita, it does feature a beautiful Akita Inu.

It’s an adaptation of a novel that has been changed to take place in Japan, and an Akita is used rather than the original breed that was used in the story.

Having said that, it’s a beautiful story of two children, Sota, a poor boy who is orphaned, and Sayo, a rich girl who struggles with her parent’s disapproval of her relationship with Sota.

In the movie, the Akita Inu called Chibi is often seen with Sota. If you don’t watch it to see Chibi, watch it for the compelling and difficult story that it presents to viewers.

Wasao (2011 Film)

If you’re a long coat Akita lover, this movie is for you.

Wasao is a true story of a white Akita Inu who happens to have a long-coat. Unfortunately, he was abandoned by his owner, only to be found by a restaurant owner who eventually becomes quite close with him.

Like many of our beloved stories of Akitas, loyalty and love is another important theme here.

Wasao was a real long-coat Akita who unfortunately passed at the age of 13 in 2020. His story, however, has been preserved for many to see and enjoy for years to come.

Please read more about the life and death of Wasao in this article. I hope to also cover more on this beautiful boy here on my blog in the future.

Famous Akitas in Video Games

Okami (2006 Game)

Okami is a beautiful video game filled with rich Japanese mythology. It follows Amaterasu, a white wolf based on the Japanese sun goddess.

You’ll see many wonderful breeds depicted throughout the game, specifically with the Canine Warriors. Ume/Jin, one of the Canine Warriors is a Shiba Inu, for example.

While walking around, you may find some dogs that do resemble Akitas, however.

Give it a play-through if you’re a games fan! It’s a great game with beautiful visuals, and you may even get a chance to catch dogs that look a little like Akitas.

Celebrities With Akitas

Helen Keller, Kamikaze-Go and Kenzan-Go

Helen Keller is often credited with bringing the first Akitas to the United States. After a trip to Japan, she noted her desire for an Akita and was gifted Kamikaze-Go by the Japanese Government.

Unfortunately, Kamikaze-go passed and the Japanese government gifted her another Akita, Kenzan-Go.

She has written about her experience with her Akitas and it’s quite touching. I’d encourage you to look more into the story if you’re interested, and I hope to cover it in the future here on the blog.

We have Helen Keller to thank for bringing the breed that we all love so dearly to the United States for us to enjoy. We also have the hard work of preservation breeders around the country for their hard work in breeding great examples of our breed.

Drake, Diamond

In 2016, Drake welcomed an American Akita that he named Diamond into his home.

She’s a real cutie and she also has made quite a few appearances in videos and in photos for Drake’s album. We hope to see more of this pretty girl in the future!

Sarah Michelle Gellar

Sarah Michelle Gellar has had a few Akitas, but she brought home two adorable Akita pups at the end of 2020. One is a regular coat while the other is an adorable long coat Akita.

Please remember that if you plan to bring home two Akita puppies of the same age to be aware and prepared for littermate syndrome.

Here are a list of celebrities with Akitas:

  • Dan Akroyd
  • Henry Cavill
  • Helen Keller
  • Eric Christian Olsen
  • Alina Zagitova
  • Drake
  • Sarah Michelle Gellar
  • Alain Delon

Celebrate Our Famous Akitas

As you can see our breed is represented in so many ways in the media and in history. If you ever feel like you need a little Akita pick-me-up, you can also check back here for more.

I’ll be updating this blog post with more information frequently! If there’s something you think I should cover, feel free to let me know! If you want to read more Akita content, keep reading the blog!

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