Hachiko (ハチ公)

Do you know this statue?

It's from the famous dog Hachiko, Akita breed, who has a truly touching story.

According to the story, Hidesaburo Ueno, a professor in the agriculture department of the University of Tokyo, took in this golden brown Akita dog in 1924. The two were great companions and friends, and Hachiko went everyday to the entrance of Shibuya Station to wait for him.

Until one day, the Professor didn't return in the usual train. During a meeting in the University, he suffered from a cerebral hemorrhage and died, never returning to the station where Hachiko was waiting for him. Every day for the next 9 years the dog waited for his owner at the station.

(Hachiko's mourning, March 8th 1935)

After the story was published in Asahi newspaper, a lot of people that used to pass by in the station started to bring him food.

However, as time passed, Hachiko became old, weak, and ill. And, in March 8, 1935, aged 11, he died. It was later found that he had terminal cancer and filaria infection.

In April, 1934, a bronze statue was erected in his honor. Unfortunately, it would be later recycled for use in the Second World War, and in 1948, Takeshi Ando, son of the original artist, rebuilt the statue, which remains until today in front of Shibuya Station.

Hachiko's remains are kept at the National Science Museum of Japan, in Ueno, Tokyo.

Beautiful story isn't it?