Hachikō

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Hachikō
Hachiko.JPG
Hachikō
SpeciesDog
BreedAkita Inu
SexMale
BornHachikō
November 10, 1923
near the city of Ōdate, Akita Prefecture
DiedMarch 8, 1935 (aged 11)
Shibuya, Tokyo
Resting placeNational Museum of Nature and Science in Ueno, Tokyo.
Nation fromJapan
Known forWaiting perseveringly for the return of his dead owner for over nine years.
OwnerHidesaburō Ueno
OffspringNone
AppearanceGolden light brown with white (peach white) color on the upper face
Bronze statue of Hachiko in front of train station of Shibuya, Tokyo (where he waited)

Hachikō (November 10, 1923 – March 8, 1935) was an Akita dog. He is best known for his unusual loyalty. He remained a faithful pet for many years after his owner died.[1]

Life[change | change source]

The dog was born on a farm near the city of Ōdate in Akita Prefecture.[2]

In 1924, Hidesaburō Ueno, a professor in the agriculture department at the University of Tokyo, took Hachikō, a golden brown Akita as a pet. During his owner's life, Hachikō greeted him at the end of each day at the nearby Shibuya Station. The two kept their daily routine until May 1925, when Professor Ueno did not come back to the train station. The professor had died of a cerebral hemorrhage. Each day for the next nine years, nine months and fifteen days, Hachikō waited for Ueno's return. He showed up at the exact time the train was due at the station.

Other travellers begin to notice Hachikō still showing up. Many of the people had seen Hachikō and Professor Ueno meet each afternoon. At first, people who worked at the station were not very friendly to the dog. But after a story was written about him in Asahi Shinbun, people started to bring Hachikō treats and food for him to eat while he waited.

Akitas in Japan[change | change source]

In 1932 one of Ueno's students Hirokichi Saito (who had learned much about the Akita breed) saw the dog at the station. He followed him to the home of the former gardener of Professor Ueno—Kikuzaboro Kobayashi,[3] where he learned the history of Hachikō's life. Shortly after this meeting, the former student published a census of all the Akitas in Japan. His research found only 30 purebred Akitas still alive, including Hachikō from Shibuya Station.

Japanese culture[change | change source]

Saito went back many times to visit Hachikō. Over the years he wrote several news stories about the dog's remarkable loyalty. In 1932 one of these stories, published in the Tokyo Asahi Shinbun, made Hachikō a national sensation.

His faithfulness to his master's memory meant a spirit of family loyalty for all Japanese people to achieve. Teachers and parents used Hachikō's devotional watching for his master as an example for children to follow. A well-known Japanese artist made a sculpture of the dog, and in Japan a new awareness of the Akita breed grew.

At last, Hachikō's legendary faithfulness became a national symbol of loyalty to the Emperor of Japan himself.[4]

Death[change | change source]

Hachiko's monument on the side of Professor Ueno's grave in the Aoyama Cemetery, Minato, Tokyo.

Hachikō died on March 8, 1935, and was found on a street in Shibuya.[2]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Unbelievable Facts". Retrieved 12 October 2015.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Hollywood the latest to fall for tale of Hachiko". The Japan Times. Kyodo News. June 25, 2009. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  3. Bouyet, Barbara. Akita, Treasure of Japan, Volume II. Hong Kong: Magnum Publishing, 2002, page 5. ISBN 0-9716146-0-1. Accessed via Google Books April 18, 2010.
  4. Skabelund, Aaron Herald (23 September 2011). Canine Imperialism. Berfrois. http://www.berfrois.com/2011/09/aaron-herald-skabelund-hachiko/. Retrieved 5 October 2015. 

Other websites[change | change source]

  • "Behind the film "Hachi: A Dog's Tale"". Vicki Shigekuni Wong. Retrieved 2 October 2015. Site with numerous photos of the real Hachikō during his life, at the end of his life, of his beloved professor & of people who came to care for Hachikō.
  • Skabelund, Aaron Herald (23 September 2011). "Canine Imperialism". Berfrois. Retrieved 2 October 2015. External link in |publisher= (help)