Outside one of the entrances to Tokyo’s Shibuya Station sits a bronze statue of Hachikō, a dog that embodied the quintessence of fidelity and devotion.
This excerpt summarizes Hachikō’s amazing story:
A white Akita dog, Hachiko was the faithful pet of Dr. Eisaburo Ueno, a professor at Tokyo University. The professor’s home was in the Shibuya district of Tokyo and he commuted to the agricultural department in Komaba and the agricultural experimental station in Nishihara. On May 21, 1925, 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 that Hachiko failed to appear at his waiting 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. Hachiko’s fidelity to his master 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 Asahi Shinbun (Asahi News). Upon his death, newspaper stories led to the suggestion that a statue be erected at the station. Contributions from people in the United States and other countries were received. Today, a statue of Hachiko pays silent tribute to the breed’s faithfulness and loyalty. A bronze statue of Hachiko was erected 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 he is on now on display at the Tokyo Museum of Art. His flesh was cremated. Its ashes rest beside those of Hachiko’s beloved master.
The full article is here.
On a bicycle tour of central Tokyo during Sakura (cherry blossom) season in 2019, my guide brought us through Aoyama Cemetery in the Minato-ku district of Tokyo. Dr. Ueno and Hachikō are reunited in eternity.
Do you know of any examples of loyalty that can match or top Hachikō’s astonishing story?
Sculpture Saturday is a challenge hosted by Sally Kelly at Ruined for Life: Phoenix Edition.