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Facts Archive >> Hachiko

Komatsu Nana's Nickname
Super Famous Dog

"Hachiko" is Komatsu Nana's nickname in "NANA," courtesy of Oosaki Nana. There is a joke behind "Hachiko." First of all, the name "Nana" means seven. Because Oosaki Nana and Komatsu Nana both have the same name, they were facing the fact that in a room, every time someone would say "Nana," they would both respond to it. So Oosaki Nana decided to give the other Nana a nickname: "Hachiko." Hachi means eight; And ko means child. This would be a cute nickname for Komatsu Nana right? Considering that #8 proceeds #7? Ha ha. No. The joke of "Hachiko" lies in the fact that it is the name of a very famous dog. Oosaki Nana said that Komatsu Nana is obedient and requires a lot of attention; Just like a dog. Therefore, she gave Komatsu Nana the nickname "Hachiko." Hachiko was whining about this at first. Afterall, who would want to be named after a dog, right? And much to Hachiko's dismay, the name began to catch on by the members of Blast. Not only did they keep calling her "Hachiko," but they treated her like a pet too. Oosaki Nana even thought Hachiko was the mascot of Blast. So throughout the manga, she was pretty much only referred to as "Hachiko."

In England and in the United States, everytime someone mentions the name "Lassie," the image of a Collie comes to mind. "Hachiko" is the name of a very famous dog in Japan. Hachiko is an Akita with a very sad but enduring story. It is a story based on the loyalty of a dog to it's owner. Below is a small paragraph from the reference book, Legacy of the Dog by Tetsu Yamazaki and Toyoharu Kojima.

"In 1931, the Ministry of Education designated the Akita a national monument, the first breed to be protected by law. The most famous of the breed is Hachiko, whose story is commemorated by a statue and wall sculpture next to Shibuya station in Tokyo. Hachiko met her master, Professor Eisaburo Ueno, at the station daily in the late afternoon, but one day in May 1925, the professor died while at work at Tokyo University. Not knowing this, Hachiko faithfully continued returning to the station each afternoon, waiting for him to come home."

Ai Yazawa adapted to "Hachiko" the dog's story as well. She cleverly wrote it into the storyline of "NANA." Later on, after Volume 9 of the manga when Hachiko moved in with Takumi; Ai Yazawa wrote in many instances where Nana and Hachiko could not meet. For example, the rainy day which Nana went to see Hachiko at Takumi's apartment, but Hachiko was not home; because Hachiko went down to the train station hoping to meet Nana. By situational circumstances, Hachiko did not meet Nana at the train station.