Photo Exhibition: Helen Keller and Hachiko

Photo Exhibition
Helen Keller and Hachiko
Curated by Yumi McDonald


March 9 - 23, 2018

Photo Left: Perkins School for the Blind Archives     Photo Right: Odate city, Akita prefecture


Special Preview Nights:

Wednesday, March 7* & Thursday, 8**, 7-9pm
*Movie screening is scheduled.
**Akita dog lecture is scheduled. Curator, Yumi McDonald is in person.


The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles
(5700 Wilshire Blvd., #100 Los Angeles, CA 90036)

Street parking is available near JFLA. Click here for parking info.


Admission: Free


Exhibition Hours:

Monday-Friday: 10am-7pm
Closed on Weekends


About the Exhibition

Helen Keller loved the famous loyal Akita dog Hachiko(Hachi). When she visited Japan in 1937 she was given an Akita puppy from people in Akita. The exhibition introduces much less-known relations between Helen Keller, Hachiko and her Akita dogs. Yumi McDonald's mother used to live in Shibuya and saw Hachiko as a little girl on a regular basis. Yumi will exhibit pictures of 1930s Tokyo life personally taken by her grandfather.


The exhibit includes the children’s books her mother read, a 1930s Shirley Temple doll and the 1948 October issue of Mainichi Graphic. The fascinating picture of Helen Keller touching the statue of Hachiko was published in this old magazine. After the Exhibition in Los Angeles, the magazine will be donated to the Shibuya Folk and Literary Shirane Memorial Museum.


This exhibition is a rare opportunity to look at the pictures collected from Tokyo, Akita, New York, Boston and Westport, Connecticut where Helen Keller used to live.


About Hachiko (Hachi)

Hachiko was a Akita dog born in Odate, Akita in 1923. At the age of 8 weeks, he was adopted by Professor Hidesaburo Ueno. He was a faculty member of the Agricultural Engineering Department at the Imperial University of Tokyo. He suddenly passed away at the university on May 21st, 1925. Hachiko searched for his master desperately and returned to the same spot in front of Shibuya station to look for his master.


Mrs. Ueno understood that Hachiko missed professor Ueno so much. She asked their former gardener, who lived near Shibuya station to keep Hachiko. From then on, Hachiko travels to Shibuya station in the mornings and evenings from the gardener’s house to wait for his former master. He continued to do so, every day rain or shine for nearly 10 years until his own death on March 8th, 1935.



 About Curator: Yumi McDonald

Born in Tokyo and graduated from Keio University with a degree in psychology. She has written on art, lifestyles and travel for major Japanese magazines including Brutus, 25ans, Seven Seas, Skyward, and many newspapers. She is the director of the Japan Society of Fairfield County. Web:

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