The legend of Hachiko


Hachiko It is perhaps the most famous dog in Japan. The loyalty that the dog showed its owner for years, even after his death, shocked the whole country.

The story of 忠 犬 ハ チ 公 (“Hachiko the faithful dog”) it is famous throughout Japan. Born in 1923, he was adopted the following year by Professor Hidesaburo Ueno, who taught at the department of agriculture at the University of Tokyo. The Akita would come to greet him at the end of the day near Shibuya station, and the daily routine lasted a couple of years, until Professor Ueno did not return in 1925. After suffering a brain hemorrhage he passed away, but Hachiko kept waiting for him at the station faithfully every day at the precise time his train arrived.

As time passed, Hachiko began to attract the attention of the people who frequented the station. Many of them had already seen him together with Professor Ueno before. The reaction of the workers was initially rejection, but after the appearance of several articles that made him famous, people began to give him food while waiting for the return of the teacher.

One day Hirokichi saito, one of Ueno’s students saw the dog at the station and decided to follow him to the home of Kikuzaboro Kobayashi, Ueno’s gardener, from whom he learned Hachiko’s story. After speaking with Kobayashi, the student visited Hachiko frequently and over time published newspaper articles praising the dog’s loyalty. In 1932 acquired fame throughout the country when an article was published in the national newspaper Asahi Shinbun. Teachers and parents saw Hachiko as an example of family unity that children should follow.

Hachiko's death

After nine years of going to the station to wait for his master, Hachiko died in 1935 on the streets of Shibuya. Recent research determined that the akita died of terminal cancer and parasites. After his death, Hachiko’s body was dissected and can be viewed at the National Science Museum of Japan in Ueno, Tokyo.

hachiko sculpture

A monument erected in his memory is located in the Aoyama Cemetery. However, the most famous monument of the dog is at Shibuya Station, and it was erected in 1934 when Hachiko was still alive. Unfortunately the original monument was recycled during the crisis of World War II, but a second statue was commissioned to the son of the original sculptor in 1948.

Stuffed hachiko

In hachiko commemoration, every April 8 a ceremony is held in which hundreds of dog lovers bring their pets, and in 1994 they managed to reconstruct audio fragments in which Hachiko’s barking had been recorded. These were broadcast on the Nipona Cultural Station on May 28 of the same year, and millions of radio listeners tuned in to listen to it.