2

It seems strange because the name ハチ公 【こう】 combines Katakana and Kanji in one word.

8

The nickname ハチ公 consists of the name ハチ followed by the suffix 〜公.

Katakana is a common choice for writing names, even if the actual name is written with kanji.

The suffix 〜公 is described in 大辞林 as follows

こう【公】

[一](名) [...]

[二](代) [...]

[三](接尾)
①身分の高い人の名に付けて、敬意を表す。「家康━」
②人や動物の名前に付けて、親しみ、あるいはやや軽んずる気持ちを表す。「忠犬ハチ━」「熊━」

The suffix 〜公 is added to the names of people (of high standing) to show respect or (by extension) to names of people or animals to express affection/intimacy.

  • I have seen Katakana for foreign names; but I was not aware it could be used for native names as well. When do we see it used for native names? – solidsnack Sep 19 '16 at 8:55
  • 3
    @solidsnack I think pet names are usually in katakana (タマ for cats, ポチ for dogs, ...) while some prefer hiragana/kanji names. Katakana for human nicknames are also very common. – naruto Sep 22 '16 at 5:09

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