Meet Hachiko- Japan's National Treasure

Douglas Pilarski

Hachiko Is A Symbol Of Friendship And Loyalty
HachikoPhoto via Pinterest

Hachiko is a national treasure in Japan. The Akita, a symbol of friendship and loyalty, is memorialized in a bronze statue at Shibuya Station in Tokyo. The statue was erected in 1934 - was melted down for metal during the war and replaced with the one we know today. Everyone knows where the statue is located, so it is a common meeting place.

The information presented here is available on numerous websites and books. The story of Hachiko has been passed on from person to person for decades. I worked in Shibuya for several years and walked by Hachiko every day on my way to work. My office was across from the statue. I am sharing my personal experiences with you in this story.

It is a great story that means the world to the Japanese. Hachiko is an international symbol of pure friendship and an icon for undying loyalty.

Hachiko was owned by Hidesaburo Ueno, then a professor in agriculture science at Tokyo Imperial University. It is said that Hachiko was born in Odate City in Akita prefecture. Ueno adopted Hachiko as a puppy, brought him to Shibuya, and the rest is history.

Ueno and Hachi did everything together.

Hachiko went to the train station with Ueno in the morning to see him off to work and returned to pick him up in the afternoon when he got off the train. Commuters fixed an image of the dog waiting faithfully for Ueno in front of the station - near the ticket counter. His legend grew. That section of Shibuya station is now known as the Hachiko exit.
Faithful Hachiko Waiting At The StationPhoto via Pinterest

Hachi became an international symbol for faithful friendship. He is so famous that movies, books, and museums feature him. Young people love Hachiko and meet at the statue. Hundreds of people take pictures with the dog every day.

On May 21, 1925, Hachiko waited once more, his owner never showed up. Ueno died at work from a cerebral hemorrhage.

Hachiko continued to arrive every afternoon to wait in vain for Ueno.

After Ueno's death, Hachiko moved in with a former gardener of the Ueno family. For the rest of his ten tears, he went to Shibuya Train Station every afternoon when the train was due to enter the station. He sat there for hours, patiently waiting in vain for the return of his beloved owner.

Make sure to rub his nose and say hello the next time you pass through the station on your next trip to Tokyo.

Hachiko passed away peacefully and alone on the street near Shibuya train station on March 8, 1935. Hachiko lives in the hearts and minds of those who know faithfulness and friendship.

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Douglas Pilarski is an award-winning writer & journalist based on the west coast. He writes about luxury goods, exotic cars, horology, tech, food, lifestyle, and workplace issues!

Beaverton, OR

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