Global sporting brands have been spoiling Japanese customers over the years with exclusive kicks dedicated to Super Mario, Godzilla and even Hello Kitty. Now, sporting giant adidas is paying homage to a real-life Japanese character with its latest sneaker release, and it’s simply called Hachiko.
For those who don’t know the story behind the name — Hachiko was an Akita dog who would wait outside Shibuya Station every day for his master, a professor at the University of Tokyo, to return home. On one fateful day in 1925, however, the professor didn’t return home, as he had died from a cerebral hemorrhage while at work. Yet Hachiko sat there waiting for his master, returning to the station day after day to faithfully await his return.
▼ Sadly, his master never returned, and Hachiko waited outside the station every day until his death nine years later.
The touching story of Hachiko went on to inspire books and films, including a Hollywood movie called "Hachi: A Dog’s Tale," starring Richard Gere. Hachiko is still remembered to this day with a statue on the grounds of Tokyo University and a statue outside Shibuya Station, where one of the exits is also named after him.
▼ Now, the faithful dog is being remembered with a new pair of Adidas sneakers, created in collaboration with Harajuku-based sneaker store atmos.
The new sneakers are the third drop in the limited-edition “Shibuya Pack” created by Adidas and atmos.
▼ The first instalment in the Shibuya Pack was Yoyogi Park, which captures the city park in autumn hues…
▼ And the second was Denim, inspired by American casual street fashion, often seen on the streets of Shibuya, where it’s known as Amekaji.
In our opinion, none of these sneakers capture the heart and soul of Shibuya quite like the new Hachiko model, which also goes by the name Superstar Dog, given that they’re based on Adidas’ Superstar model, but feature a furry surface to resemble the fur of Hachiko.
The tongue on each shoe features a silver-colored plate with the trefoil logo engraved on it, while the midsole reveals another nod to Hachiko — the Dogenzaka address where its statue sits outside Shibuya Station.
Over the years, Hachiko has become a well-known symbol of Shibuya, so it’s fitting that the famous dog appear as part of the Shibuya Pack. And to add to the heartwarming nature of Hachiko’s story, part of the profits from sales of the shoes will be returned to Shibuya as part of the “Shibuya Ward Official Souvenir Project” to help the neighborhood. Official goods affiliated with the project bear the “You Make Shibuya” logo mark, and this logo appears on the inner sole of the shoes.
The Hachiko sneakers retail for 15,400 yen, and given that demand is expected to be high, they’ll be available to purchase via a lottery system, with applications being accepted online.
These are definitely going to be a sought-after pair of kicks, especially with atmos likening them to “the resurrection of Hachiko”, so best of luck getting your hands on them, and feet into them.
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