New Adidas Hachiko sneakers pay homage to Shibuya’s famous loyal dog

The third release in the Adidas x Atmos Shibuya Pack promoting Tokyo street culture to the world.

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 — grab the tissues. 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 died from a cerebral haemorrhage 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-coloured 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 neighbourhood. 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 (US$139.92), and given that demand is expected to be high, they’ll be available to purchase via a lottery system, with applications being accepted online until 8:59 a.m. on 17 September. According to the official site, the lottery is only open to people in Japan, and entrants will be able to see if they’ve been successful from 9:00 a.m. on 18 September via their online registration page.

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! If you miss out, you can always console yourself with these sneakers from Asics, which combine the beauty of Mt Fuji with traditional ukiyo-e art in honour of the Tokyo Marathon.

Source: Atmos
Featured image: Atmos
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mages: Wikipedia, Atmos (1, 2, 3)
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