‘Hachiko’ (2023) Story Recap And Ending, Explained

Most of us are familiar with the story of the loyal dog Hachiko. Hachiko, also known as Hachi, was an Akita dog who became famous for his remarkable loyalty and devotion to his owner. His story is a testament to the enduring bond between humans and their pets.

Hachiko’s story began in 1924 when he was born in the city of Date, Japan. As a young puppy, he was adopted by Professor Hidesaburo Ueno, a professor at Tokyo Imperial University. The two quickly formed a deep and loving connection, becoming inseparable companions.

Tragically, Hachiko passed away on March 8, 1935, almost ten years after his owner’s death. His remains were preserved and placed on display at the National Science Museum of Japan in Ueno, Tokyo, as a testament to his incredible loyalty.

On March 31, 2023, Hachiko, a Chinese film, was released, retelling the renowned tale of devotion between Hachiko and his master. This cinematic masterpiece portrays the profound bond shared by the dog and its owner, evoking deep emotions that can touch the hearts of any viewer and perhaps even bring tears to their eyes. The film’s central themes of loyalty and love are showcased in a captivating manner, leaving a lasting impact on those who watch it. To provide you with a glimpse of its content, here is a brief recap.

Spoilers Ahead

‘Hachiko’ Story

The film Hachiko opens by introducing Chen Jingxiu (Xiaogang Feng), an associate professor, and his family of four. His family consists of his wife, Li Jiazhen (Joan Chen), their son, Chen Xinqiao (Congo Pax), and their daughter, Chen Xiaozhou (Eponine Huang). The family leads a simple life, with Li Jiazhen managing a store and enjoying her leisure time playing Mahjong with friends. Chen Xinqiao, a software developer, spends most of his time on the computer, while Chen Xiaozhou spends her time talking with her boyfriend. Professor Chen primarily focuses on his job and assists his wife in managing the store. During a research trip, Professor Chen comes across an incredibly adorable stray puppy. Despite searching for the puppy’s owner in the surrounding area, he fails to find anyone. When his fellow professors decline to take the puppy, Professor Chen decides to bring it home with him.

Knowing his wife’s aversion to dogs, Professor Chen discreetly conceives a plan to bring the puppy into their home, mindful of her previous traumatic experience with a dog bite. He skillfully hides the adorable pup in his backpack and swiftly retreats to his room, ensuring none of his family members discover the secret. Placing the puppy in a box, Professor Chen intends for it to remain confined in his room while he joins his family for dinner. However, to everyone’s surprise, the resourceful puppy manages to escape its temporary enclosure and ventures downstairs, catching the attention of Chen Xinqiao. Sensing the presence of the canine, Li Jiazhen becomes furious and demands that Professor Chen find someone else to take the puppy away. In the meantime, as he searches for potential adopters, Professor Chen spends increasing amounts of time bonding with the puppy, unexpectedly growing fond of its company. One fateful day, without informing Professor Chen, Li Jiazhen gives the puppy to a stranger. Consumed by despair, Professor Chen’s sanity wavers as he relentlessly scours the market in search of his beloved companion. Ultimately, he succeeds in locating the puppy and joyfully brings it back home.

Eternal Devotion: A Timeless Tale Of A Loyal Dog

Professor Chen demonstrates a remarkable level of respect for his family members’ preferences, refraining from interfering in their choices and allowing them the freedom to pursue their own interests. When faced with disapproval from Li Jiazhen, Professor Chen draws a parallel between his inclusive approach within the family and his desire to have the same autonomy for himself. He finds great joy in the companionship of his puppy, whom he affectionately refers to as his son and an integral part of the family, naming him Ba Tong. However, Li Jiazhen expresses her distaste for the idea of the puppy becoming a family member. As the story unfolds, Ba Tong grows into a mature dog and receives extensive training from Professor Chen. Every day, when Professor Chen heads to the cable car station for work, Ba Tong faithfully follows him, prompting Professor Chen to give him a newspaper to deliver to his wife, Li Jiazhen, as a way to guide Ba Tong back home. Remarkably intelligent, Ba Tong carries the newspaper in his mouth and swiftly navigates the bustling market to reach his destination, ensuring the paper reaches Li Jiazhen. The bond between Ba Tong and his master is an exquisitely beautiful and profound connection that has the power to touch the hearts of anyone watching this film.

Ba Tong, an incredible and lively dog, holds a deep affection for Professor Chen and the entire family. Unexpectedly, when Chen Xinqiao receives a job offer in Beijing, he independently arranges train tickets without informing or seeking permission from Professor Chen. This action deeply troubles Professor Chen, as he feels hurt that his son made decisions without involving him or even seeking his consent. The following day, Chen Xinqiao arrives at the station. Professor Chen endeavors to reach there as quickly as possible, but his breathing difficulties impede his progress, preventing him from reaching the station in time. However, Ba Tong dashes tirelessly toward the station, determined to bridge the gap. Chen Xinqiao is both astonished and overjoyed to see Ba Tong, realizing that his father must be near the station, and even though he did not make it to the station, he supports him in embarking on this new chapter of his life.

‘Hachiko’ Ending

In this film, Professor Chen is depicted as a serious yet kind-hearted individual who deeply cherishes his family members. He has a humble demeanor and treats his dog, Ba Tong, as an important part of his family. Professor Chen finds joy in his work and embraces the simplicity of his daily life. Additionally, he consistently supports his wife in managing the family store. Tragically, the story takes an unsettling turn when Professor Chen passes away during a research trip. The news shatters the Chen family, causing everyone to break down in tears. Unaware of the circumstances, Ba Tong instinctively heads to the cable car station where Professor Chen used to commute daily. Filled with anticipation, Ba Tong patiently waits for his master. However, upon reaching the station, Ba Tong realizes that the station and the nearby stores have all closed down, leaving him to return home alone.

Li Jiazhen makes the decision to leave her house and start a new life elsewhere, entrusting her daughter, Chen Xiaozhou, with the responsibility of caring for Ba Tong. However, Chen Xiaozhou and her husband find Ba Tong to be bothersome as he constantly attempts to escape in search of the station where his deceased master used to return, unaware of his master’s passing. When Chen Xiaozhou gives Ba Tong to a stranger, the determined dog manages to break free and races through fields and markets to reach the cable car station once again, faithfully waiting for his master’s return. As time passes, a decade elapses, yet Ba Tong remains steadfast at the station, faithfully waiting day after day. A local shop owner, aware of a trick involving a newspaper to distract Ba Tong, has been providing him with newspapers all these years while closing his store for the day. One day, while Li Jiazhen and Chen Xinqiao reminisce about Professor Chen during a cable car journey, Li Jiazhen is stunned to see a dog wearing the belt she once made, and she breaks down in tears upon realizing that it is Ba Tong. The shop owner offers Ba Tong a newspaper and urges Li Jiazhen and Chen Xinqiao to follow him, revealing that their home is not entirely abandoned. Following Ba Tong’s lead, they arrive at their former residence and are shocked to find a vast collection of thousands of newspapers, which brings them to tears as they realize the depth of Ba Tong’s love for his master. In the movie’s poignant finale, Ba Tong closes his eyes and takes his last breath, followed by a poignant scene of him reuniting with Professor Chen in heaven, where the professor expresses his gratitude for Ba Tong’s unwavering loyalty and apologizes for making him wait so long. This particular segment of the film is sure to evoke deep emotions in any viewer. The beautiful film concludes with Professor Chen and Ba Tong boarding a cable car, embarking on a new and different journey as they gradually fade into the clouds.

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