Friday, October 28, 2011

Most faithful dog - Hachiko @ Shibuya, Tokyo

Hachiko is remembered for his remarkable loyalty to his owner, even many years after his owner's death. The dog belongs to Hidesaburō Ueno, a professor in the agriculture department at the University of Tokyo. Hachiko always greeted his owner at the end of each day at the nearby Shibuya Station. One day the professor had suffered from a cerebral hemorrhage and died, never returning to the train station where Hachikō was waiting. Every day for the next nine years the dog waited at Shibuya station.

Many of the people who frequented the Shibuya train station had seen Hachikō and Professor Ueno together each day. They brought Hachikō treats and food to nourish him during his wait. This continued for nine years with Hachikō appearing precisely when the train was due at the station.

Each year on April 8, Hachikō's devotion is honored with a solemn ceremony of remembrance at Tokyo's Shibuya railroad station. Hundreds of dog lovers often turn out to honor his memory and loyalty.

Hachikō was the subject of the 1987 movie Hachi-kō (Hachikō Monogatari) ハチ公物語 (literally “The Tale of Hachiko”), directed by Seijirō Kōyama, which told the story of his life from his birth up until his death and imagined spiritual reunion with his master. Hachiko: A Dog's Story, released in August 2009, is an American movie starring actor Richard Gere, directed by Lasse Hallström, about Hachikō and his relationship with the professor. The movie was filmed in Rhode Island, and also featured Joan Allen and Jason Alexander.

Source: Wikipedia.

Hachiko was born in Odate, Japan in November 1923, a white male Akita dog. At the age of two months, he was sent to the home of Professor Ueno of the Agricultural Department of the Tokyo University. The professor's home was in the Shibuya district of Tokyo. The professor commuted to the agricultural department in Komaba and the agricultural experimental station in Nishihara.

Tragedy struck on May 21, 1925, when Dr. Ueno did not return because he had suffered a stroke and died at the university. Hachiko was eighteen months old. The next day and for the next nine years, Hachiko returned to the station and waited for his beloved master before walking home, alone. Nothing and no one could discourage Hachiko from maintaining his nightly vigil. It was not until he followed his master in death, in March l934, that Hachiko failed to appear in his place at the railroad station.

Hachiko was sent to homes of relatives or friends, but he always continued to await his master, who was never to return, at the train station.

The fidelity of Hachiko was known throughout Japan, owing to an article, "Faithful Old Dog Awaits Return of Master Dead for Seven Years" in the October 4, 1933 issue of Aashi Shinbun (Asahi News). Upon his death, newspaper stories led to the suggestion that a statue be erected in the station. Contributions the from the United States and other countries were received. Today, the statue of the Akita, Hachiko, pays silent tribute to the breed's faithfulness and loyalty. A bronze statue of Hachiko was put up at his waiting spot outside the Shibuya railroad station, which is now probably the most popular rendezvous point in Shibuya. Hachiko was mounted and stuffed and is on now on display at the Tokyo Museum of Art.

It was a great story of loyalty of animal to human being.


Me with Hachiko statue.

Coordinate/GPS: 35.658739,139.701085
Location:
Behind the smoking area of Shibuya station. Tokyo Metro Shibuya Station.
Near the stairs leading to the Tokyu Food Show of Tokyu Department stores.

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