An Analysis of the Movie “Hachiko: A Dog’s Story” in Terms of Empathy and Solidarity with Animals

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Psikiyatride Güncel Yaklaşımlar, vol.15, no.4, pp.705-721, 2023 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 15 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.18863/pgy.1255168
  • Journal Name: Psikiyatride Güncel Yaklaşımlar
  • Journal Indexes: Academic Search Premier, Central & Eastern European Academic Source (CEEAS), Psycinfo, Directory of Open Access Journals, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.705-721
  • Van Yüzüncü Yıl University Affiliated: Yes


The aim of this study was to analyze the movie "Hachiko: A Dog's Story" in terms of empathy and solidarity with animals. For this purpose, the scenes in the movie were interpreted on the basis of empathic reactions towards animals (cognitive and affective; self/other-oriented) and solidarity with animals (emotions and behaviors such as attachment, belonging, intimacy, and cooperation). The movie is about the attachment between a dog and a human, and it encourages the viewers to understand this attachment. In order for this to happen, audiences should be able to empathize with the protagonist of the movie, Hachi. Through the analysis of the movie, it becomes clear that empathy with animals is depicted in scenes where efforts are made to understand the protagonist's fear, joy, or expectations (self/other-oriented cognitive empathic responses) as well as in scenes where the desire to do something for the protagonist is shown (other-oriented emotional empathic responses). Solidarity with animals is depicted in scenes that include emotions and behaviors such as sharing (time, happiness, sorrow, “bread”), support (helping, assuming care, etc.), and intimacy (desire to be together). Additionally, the movie directs viewers towards a dog's emotions such as joy, loyalty, sorrow, separation, and longing in many scenes.