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Answerman - Why Are There Statues Of A Reading Boy And A Dog In Japan?




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Frenzie



Joined: 08 Sep 2017
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 11:33 am Reply with quote
When I saw the title I thought it might be about https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Dog_of_Flanders

Quote:
A Dog of Flanders is an 1872 novel by English author Marie Louise de la Ramée published with her pseudonym "Ouida". It is about a Flemish boy named Nello and his dog, Patrasche and is set in Antwerp.

In Japan and Korea the novel has been a children's classic for decades and was adapted into several Japanese films and anime.
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halo



Joined: 11 May 2004
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 1:13 pm Reply with quote
You just had to reference that episode of Futurama, now I'm crying at work.
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EricJ2



Joined: 01 Feb 2014
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 2:07 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Another statue stands at a train station in Hachiko's hometown of Odate, and in front of the Akita Dog Museum there. A movie was made of the story in 1987 ("Hachiko Monogatari"), and an American film starring Richard Gere was made in 2009. Several children's books, including a few in English, have also been published. Hachiko references have found their way into Futurama and One Piece, and a parody of the Shibuya Station statue can be found in Persona 5.


And was Ran Kotobuki's favorite sitting "throne" as leader of the Shibuya girls in Super Gals.

The Sontoku statue, OTOH, became more famous as the "Walking statue" that haunts every Japanese high-school at night, in nearly every school's collection of traditional urban-legend ghost stories for the underclassmen.


Last edited by EricJ2 on Fri Sep 08, 2017 7:56 pm; edited 1 time in total
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DerekL1963
Space CowboySpace Cowboy


Joined: 14 Jan 2015
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Location: Puget Sound
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 4:01 pm Reply with quote
Many statues of Sontoku were erected by the Imperial Government in the Meiji, Taishō and early Shōwa period to serve as an inspiration to students. During the Taishō and early Shōwa, smaller (desk size) statues were widely used as prizes in school competitions. Imperialistic and militaristic regimes often provide such exemplars to their population. (Soviet era Russia, especially during Stalin's era, had the New Soviet Man. The Nazi's exploited Nietzsche's ideal Übermensch to the same end.)

Though nowhere near as intense as the de-Nazification program in Germany, there was a (mostly half hearted) program of removing and discrediting the symbols of Imperial Japan. These statues were seen by some as such a symbol and during the Occupation many (most?) of them that had been erected by the Imperial Government were pulled down and destroyed.

Still, Sontoku remains a popular 'folk' hero and adults can't resist providing good examples for kids... So they still erect those statues today.
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dragonmastr



Joined: 09 Feb 2012
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 6:32 pm Reply with quote
EricJ2 wrote:

And was Ran Kotobuki's favorite sitting "throne" as leader of the Shibuya girls in Super Gals.


Hilariously enough this was my intro to Hachiko.
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GrdAdmiral



Joined: 11 Dec 2006
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Location: Tokyo, Japan
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 7:28 pm Reply with quote
Actually the legend of Hachiko takes another unique twist. (^\^) Did you know the University of Tokyo actually completed an autopsy of Hachiko prior to the dog's cremation? They found some parasites and possible cancer related health issues with the dog. But thats not all. The dog had wooden sticks in the stomach. The exact same kind used for yakitori. They believe that the dog Hachiko didn't come back to wait for the professor. The passengers visiting the station would feed Hachiko every day. So he returned everyday for free food. (Anime smile)
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jenny10-11



Joined: 25 Jun 2015
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Location: Australia
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:41 pm Reply with quote
Everytime I think if Hachiko I start tearing up Crying or Very sad. It's just so sweet/sad.

GrdAdmiral wrote:
They believe that the dog Hachiko didn't come back to wait for the professor. The passengers visiting the station would feed Hachiko every day. So he returned everyday for free food. (Anime smile)


I've heard the same thing suggested of Greyfriars Bobby. Knowing my own dogs, I can believe they would be more likely to stay around for food and attention than out if loyalty Laughing
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Kadmos1



Joined: 08 May 2014
Posts: 10223
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:34 am Reply with quote
On Japanese dog breeds: The Shiba is the most popular dog breed in Japan. The Akita is the most famous Japanese dog breed. The largest Japanese dog breed is the Tosa. This Mastiff-type breed's home city is Kochi City, the home city of veteran seiyuu Sumi Shimamoto.
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Shiroi Hane
Encyclopedia Editor


Joined: 25 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 12:53 pm Reply with quote
Guys, I highly recommend not googling "heartworm".

While I'm here I may as well mention once visiting Beddgelert while on a school trip, from a similar tale of a loyal dog (albeit with a sadder ending for the dog). I don't recall the nice slate path back them mind, I just remember trekking to the middle of a field to see a stone slab under a tree.
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SaneSavantElla



Joined: 25 Jan 2013
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 2:44 pm Reply with quote
Shiroi Hane wrote:
Guys, I highly recommend not googling "heartworm".


I second this. Too late for me though, can't unsee the first image that popped up. -_-
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Kadmos1



Joined: 08 May 2014
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 10:10 am Reply with quote
Helen Keller was the 1st known perosn to bring the breed to the USA. It was 80 years ago this past July or August.
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kgw



Joined: 22 Jul 2004
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Location: Spain, EU
PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 11:12 am Reply with quote
Sontoku Ninomiya (actually, a statue of him) was a character in the 90's Haunted Junction manga/anime series. When released overseas, people wondered who this Ninomiya guy was and why people was so excited about him.
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EricJ2



Joined: 01 Feb 2014
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 2:15 pm Reply with quote
kgw wrote:
Sontoku Ninomiya (actually, a statue of him) was a character in the 90's Haunted Junction manga/anime series. When released overseas, people wondered who this Ninomiya guy was and why people was so excited about him.


Again, the joke on Haunted Junction was that all the wacky "sidekicks" were the six cliche' ghost stories kids are always told about their schools the first week:
The walking Sontoku, the living science-room anatomy model, the ghost in the girls' toilet, the Red Mantle, and Hanako-chan in the mirror...Just turned slightly sillier.
(And since the Sontoku of the statue is a young boy, our heroine Mutsuki has a comically unhealthy interest in him... Anime catgrin + sweatdrop )

HJ was pretty much my introduction, too--I had no idea who the figure in the statue was, either, just that every school had one.


Last edited by EricJ2 on Sun Sep 10, 2017 5:40 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Ouran High School Dropout



Joined: 28 Jun 2015
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 5:15 pm Reply with quote
Then there's the parodies, like the Hachiko statue in Puni Puni Poemy that looks like a Puuchuu from Excel Saga, seen just before Poemy goes on a mindless rampage upon the "evildoers" of Shibuya. Then, in Ghost Stories, the Ninomiya Sontoku statue comes "alive", because that's what ghosts do in an elementary school.
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residentgrigo



Joined: 23 Dec 2007
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Location: Germany
PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:20 am Reply with quote
The US Hachi: A Dog's Tale with Richard Gere is pretty good btw and surprisingly emotionally resonant. Fairly close to the actual story too. It is even cemented in multiple Imdb Top 250s (despite mediocre critical reception), as it´s basically porn for pet owners. Is it the best Japan to US adaptation of all time? It´s better than (the 60s) Magnificent Seven and Black Swan isn´t really based on Perfect Blue. Which random film am i forgetting...
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