Hachiko was an exceptional companion, whose loyalty and devotion to his owner made him a legend in Japan and around the world. His unwavering love and loyalty captured the hearts of millions, and his story is a testament to the strength of the bond between humans and dogs.
The Bond of Love
Hachiko, an Akita, was born on November 10, 1923, at a farm situated near the city of Odate, Akita Prefecture. The following year, Hidesaburo Ueno, a professor at Tokyo Imperial University, brought him to live in Shibuya, Tokyo, where he became his beloved pet.
Every day, the dog would wait at the train station for his owner to return from work. They would walk home together, and Hachiko would then accompany the professor to the station again the next morning. It was a routine that they both cherished.
As time passed, Hachiko’s love for his owner only grew stronger. He became known around the train station for his loyalty and devotion, and people would often stop to admire him. The bond between Hachiko and Professor Ueno was a symbol of the unbreakable bond that can exist between humans and dogs.
The Tragic Loss: Hachiko’s Final Goodbye
One day, Professor Ueno did not return home. He had suffered a stroke and passed away while at work. Hachiko waited at the station, as usual, but his owner never came. Despite this, he continued to wait every day for the next nine years, nine months, and fifteen days. He became a fixture at the station, and his unwavering loyalty and devotion touched the hearts of everyone who saw him.
During this time, Hachiko was cared for by the professor’s family and the community around the train station. He was given food and water, and people would often stop to pet him and offer him comfort. But despite all this, he remained devoted to his owner and continued to wait at the station every day.
On March 8, 1935, Hachiko passed away peacefully in his sleep at the age of 11. His death was attributed to cancer and a filarial infection. His passing was mourned by many, and a statue of Hachiko was erected at the Shibuya station to honor his loyalty and devotion.
The Symbol of Love: Hachiko’s Legacy
Hachiko’s story is one of the most powerful examples of unconditional love in history. His loyalty and devotion to his owner, even after death, is a symbol of the love that humans and dogs can share.
Today, the statue of Hachiko at the Shibuya train station in Tokyo has become a symbol of love and devotion, not only in Japan but around the world. People come from all over to pay their respects to this loyal dog and to be inspired by his story. Hachiko’s legacy lives on as a reminder of the unbreakable bond that can exist between humans and dogs and of the power of love to transcend—even in death.
National Museum of Nature and Science
Hachiko is also remembered at the National Museum of Nature and Science in Ueno, Tokyo. In 2011, the museum acquired Hachiko’s preserved remains, including his fur and internal organs. The museum displays his remains as a tribute to his loyalty and devotion to his owner, and as a symbol of the special bond between humans and dogs.
The display also includes a replica of Hachiko’s famous statue at the Shibuya train station. Visitors can see his remains and learn more about his story, as well as the science behind the preservation of animal specimens.
The acquisition of Hachiko’s remains by the museum was a significant event in Japan, as it highlighted the cultural significance of Hachiko’s story and his place in Japanese history. The display at the museum serves as a lasting tribute to Hachiko and his legacy as a symbol of love and devotion.
People come from all over to pay their respects to this loyal dog and to be inspired by his story. Hachiko’s legacy lives on as a reminder of the unbreakable bond that can exist between humans and dogs and of the power of love to transcend—even in death.
In 1987, a Japanese film called “Hachiko Monogatari” was released. The film, directed by Seijiro Koyama and starring Tatsuya Nakadai as Professor Ueno and Tamasaburo Bando as Hachiko, was a dramatized version of Hachiko’s story. The movie received critical acclaim and became a box office success in Japan. It helped to bring Hachiko’s story to a wider audience in Japan and other parts of the world
In 2009, an American adaptation titled “Hachi: A Dog’s Tale” was released, starring Richard Gere as Professor Parker Wilson, a character based on Professor Ueno. The film was directed by Lasse Hallström and written by Stephen P. Lindsey. The movie received mixed reviews but became popular among audiences, especially dog lovers. It helped to introduce Hachiko’s story to a new generation of viewers and further cemented his legacy as a symbol of love and devotion.
Featured photo: Tokyo, Japan – January 16, 2020: A picture of the Hachiko Memorial Statue, in Shibuya.