Hachiko, Japan’s National Symbol of Loyalty

  • TOKYO
  • SHIBUYA
  • SPOT
  • Hachiko, an Akita Inu breed of dog, was born on November 10, 1923 in a farm near the city of Odate, Akita Prefecture. He is known for his remarkable loyalty to his owner, Hidesaburo Ueno, a professor in Agriculture of the University of Tokyo. Hachiko is known in Japanese as chuken Hachiko which means faithful dog Hachiko.

    Story of Hachiko

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    It had been a daily routine of this dog and his owner to meet up at the Shibuya station at the end of each day which lasted for over a year. Until one day, the owner did not return but the dog still continued to wait same time each day which lasted for nine years, nine months, and fifteen days. The owner was reported to die of cerebral hemorrhage while at work, thats why he wasn’t able to meet up with his dog that one day on May of 1925. Over these nine years, the fame of Hachiko grew with several articles in the newspapers. The first article about him was published on October 4, 1932 in Asahi Shinbun, and this started people’s affection towards Hachiko. People started to bring him treats and food. The story of Hachiko was often told to children as an example of great loyalty.

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    Hachiko died on March 8, 1935 due to terminal cancer and filaria infection. His body was found on a street in Shibuya.

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    There are three statues that were built for Hachiko to commemorate his legendary loyalty. They are located at Shibuya Station, in his hometown in front of Odate Station, and in front of the Akita Dog Museum in Odate. There is also a monument next to his master’s grave in Aoyama Cemetery. His remains were preserved and are displayed at the National Museum of Nature and Science. One of the many exits from Shibuya Station has been named after Hachiko. The exact spot where Hachiko waited in the train station is permanently marked with bronze paw-prints and text in Japanese explaining about his loyalty.

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    Every year, (April 8), his devotion is honored and is being celebrated with a solemn ceremony at the Tokyo’s Shibuya Station. This is being supported by hundreds of dog lovers.

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    For his ever-faithful devotion to his owner, Hachiko became a legendary figure, a true testament to the depths of love dogs have for their humans. Although they were never reunited in life, now they’ll be forever reunited in a statue as the University of Tokyo officially unveiled a new statue of Hachiko and this time with his owner Hidesamuro Ueno to commemorate his 80th death anniversary.

    The story of Hachiko is indeed something to be treasured and should be passed on to generations as it depicts loyalty and great love of a pet to his owner. Loyalty is a virtue that everyone should possess so that we can live the world with love and affection. This story is perfect for all dog lovers and any pet owner. This can also teach younger generations the value of loyalty and love, thus can help create a better relationship amongst humans and animals, hence, creating a better world for all of us.

    Hachiko Statue Access