Hachiko – A faithful dog friend – If you’ve been to Japan and have walked around the Shibuya area, you’ve probably seen the statue of Hachiko, an Akita dog who is remembered for his loyalty to his master. It also symbolizes Shibuya Station.
His owner was Hidesaburō Ueno, a professor at the University of Tokyo and in 1924 he took Hachiko in as a pet. Since then every day they headed to the Shibuya station where the professor took the train and returned at the end of the day.
But one day the professor did not return. He had suffered a brain hemorrhage on the train back home and passed away. Meanwhile Hachiko waited, as usual, at the station for the return of his master.
Everyday he would come back to the station and waited for his master to return. This routine went on for years, so the people who worked at the station and the passers by would notice him.
Newspapers would spread the news on a faithful dog still waiting for his master’s return. In 1934, a year before his death, a bronze statue would be erected in his honor, right in front of the Shibuya Station. One of the staff members of the station, Yoshizo Osawa, gave the photo to his oldest daughter, Nobue Yamaguchi, now 78. “My father loved dogs,” Yamaguchi said. “He told me, ‘Hachi came to our station every day and we shared our box lunches with him.'”
Bronze statues of Hachiko and the owner Hidesaburo Ueno, have been set in the city of Tsu, Mie Prefecture, which was Ueno’s home town.
In 1994, the Nippon Cultural Broadcasting was able to lift a recording of Hachikō barking from an old record that had been broken into several pieces. Here is the recording. Quality of video is not so good but you can hear Hachiko bark at around 1:42.
And there is a figure of Hachiko in the National Science Museum in Ueno, too.
These are clips from the movie: Hachiko Monogatari
And Hachiko also appears in this sign from the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department. This sign is from the city of Shibuya and tells people it is a safe area where children and elders can be aided if in trouble.
It is a sad story but his faithfulness to his master has impressed the people and it is a spirit of family loyalty that we all should strive to achieve. ^^;
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