The Story of Hachikō: The Most Loyal Dog
One of Japan’s most praised pups of all time is the akita inu named Hachikō. This dog proved to be the most loyal dog of all time, and is appreciated for his undying attachment to his owner. To this day, Hachikō is remembered and loved in Japan for his heartbreaking story.
Hachikō was born on a farm near Ōdate, Akita Prefecture on November 10th, 1923. The following year, an agriculture professor at Tokyo Imperial University named Hidesaburō Ueno adopted Hachikō as his pet. Ueno brought Hachikō to Shibuya, Tokyo to live with him and every single day Hachikō would greet Ueno after work at the Shibuya train station. This became Hachikō’s routine, and he was always overjoyed to greet his owner after his day at work. This went on for some years, until one day on May 21st, 1925 when to Hachikō’s surprise, Ueno did not get off the train after his workday. Ueno had suffered from a cerebral hemorrhage, and unfortunately passed away that day unexpectedly.
But Hachikō did not understand why his owner did not return to him. So for the next nine years, nine months and fifteen days he waited at the train station at the exact time his passed owner’s train was expected to arrive. Passerbys noticed the poor dog waiting at the train station day after day. Some of these frequent commuters had seen Hachikō with his owner before, and connected the dots that the dog must be waiting for Ueno to return from work. The employees at the Shibuya weren’t friendly to Hachikō at first, and tried to shoo the dog out. Others that knew Ueno or perhaps just felt bad for the poor pup would bring Hachikō food and treats during his wait.
In 1932, the Asahi Shinbun published an article about Hachikō waiting in the station every day. This attracted the attention of the public, and many people began to stop in to see him waiting at the station for his owner who would never come. One of Ueno’s former students made a point to learn the history of Hachikō’s life and document it and publish it in the newspaper. These publications caused Hachikō to become a sensation throughout Japan. Hachikō became a symbol for loyalty and faithfulness. In 1935, at the age of 11, Hachikō passed away from cancer. To this day, Hachikō is remembered in Japan through statues, books, and various media references. Children are often taught the story of Hachikō as it demonstrates how powerful loyalty to those you care about can be.