I am sure many of you, dear readers have heard at least something about this incredible story. Well, how couldn’t you, this is probably one of the most famous and touching real dog stories ever. It tells us about the life and loyalty of one special dog, the man’s best friend in any sense. So, who is actually this loyal dog? Hachikō was an Akita Inu, born on November 10, 1923, on a farm near Ōdate, the city in Akita prefecture, Japan. Just a few months later, in the first quarter of 1924 actually, he was brought to Tokyo by Hidesaburō Ueno, a professor of arable land readjustment at the University of Tokyo. This marked the beginning of a true friendship that will later inspire millions of people across the whole world. This touching tale is the best proof that dogs are the only animals who love men more than themselves.
Professor Ueno And His Loyal Dog Hachikō
The unforgettable dog story took place in Shibuya ward, where the professor had his home. Namely, everyday Ueno had to travel by train to the University. This was his lone daily routine until his loyal dog Hachikō had started accompanying him. From that moment on, his lovely Akita Inu saw him off to the Shibuya train station whenever he was traveling to the University. At the same station, Hachikō also greeted the professor every day in the afternoon, around 4 o’clock, when he was coming back home. Unfortunately, in May 1925, when the dog was a year and a half old that lovely daily routine suddenly came to an end. Hidesaburō Ueno had suffered a brain stroke while still at work. It caused his immediate death and he never again came back to the train station.
His loyal dog Hachikō, however, continued to await him there until the end of his life, almost ten years after. In the next few months after professor Ueno’s death, personnel at the train station and other people around were unsuccessfully trying to drive the dog off of the train station. They even found him a few new owners, but every time he eventually escaped and run away to his master’s house. However, when the dog realized his beloved master wasn’t there anymore, he returned to the station in the hope of seeing him again. Every day, at the same time, he was at the same place anxiously waiting, but his master was no more. This drew the sympathy of the people who were previously trying to get rid of him. Suddenly, they started to take care of him, to feed him, and to cuddle him.
The Shibuya train station became Hachikō’s new home. After a while, people from all around the ward noticed this wonderful dog and he became the local legend. Many were bringing food and treats to him, including some of the professor Ueno’s former students. One of them was Hirokichi Saito, who already had written many articles about the Akita Inu breed in general. Naturally, he was particularly amazed by his professor’s pet. In 1932, Saito befriended with loyal dog Hachikō and had followed him to Kikuzaboro Kobayashi‘s home. This man was previously professor’s gardener and he told Saito a detailed story of Hachikō’s life. Soon after, he started writing articles about the famous dog. In 1932, Saito published one of these in the Tokyo Asahi Shimbun, the national newspapers. This article helped spread this touching tale whole around Japan.
During the short span of time, loyal dog Hachikō became the Japanese true sensation. People all around Japan were admiring his undying loyalty and unreal will to never give up on his dear master. Family loyalty is an old tradition in Japan, and because of his heartbreaking endeavour, Hachikō became an incarnation of this tradition. For this reason, in 1934, the small bronze statue was built in his name at his waiting place. The dog himself was present at the small ceremony of its unveiling. Unfortunately, just a year later on March 8, 1935, Hachikō was found dead in the street next to the Shibuya train station. The cause of death was cancer. Many people came to mourn over the loss of this incredible dog, including his owner’s wife. Thus, our sad little buddy finally met his master again :(
Symbol Of Loyalty In Japan And Around The World
Today, the most faithful dog Hachikō represents a national symbol of loyalty in Japan. Although the first statue was recycled during the WWII, Takeshi Ando, a son of the artist who made this original statue, had built the identical one in 1948. This statue remained untouched until this very day in Dogenzaka, Shibuya, a well-known and crowded area in Tokyo. That was the actual place at which our dear Akita had waited for Ueno. This is now a favorite meeting place for young couples during the night. The closest entrance to this place at Shibuya train station bears the name of this dog – Hachikō-guchi. Also, his remains were stuffed and mounted and can be seen today at the National Museum of Nature and Science in Japan, which is located in the Ueno park, named after his master.
The second statue of loyal dog Hachikō, almost identical to the one in Shibuya, was built at the train station in Ōdate, his birth town. Next to professor Ueno’s grave, there’s a monument built in the memory of his best friend. Also, in 2015 at the University of agriculture in Tokyo, where the professor had actually worked, the bronze statue was revealed depicting him coming back to greet Hachikō. The first Japanese movie based on this story “Hachikō Monogatari” by Seijirō Kōyama was released in 1987. The movie was a huge success in Japan, and it helped spread this legendary tale to other parts of the world. In the USA, the story gained some attention after Pamela S. Turner published her book “Hachikō: The True Story of a Loyal Dog” in 2004.
His global glory, Hachikō, the loyal dog, gained five years later, when his incredible story was told, although with minor changes, in a Hollywood movie “Hachi: A Dog’s Tale” by Lasse Hallström, staring Richard Gere. The touching movie was well received and it gained positive reactions. As a consequence, the statue of this lovely Akita was built in the USA too, at the Woonsocket Depot Square on Rhode Island, where the movie was actually filmed. How grateful, how touching! There are no words to explain my feelings towards this faithful dog. Maybe his legacy speaks more than words ever could. Anyway, he is the reason I treasure so much every moment I spend with my Husky Leah. Thank you Hachikō and may you live forever with your master in heaven!