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Hachiko Symbolizes Loyalty in Shibuya

If you ever make plans to meet someone in Shibuya there is a good chance that they will suggest meeting at the Hachiko statue. Located in a plaza just outside the station you will find an unassuming statue of an Akita dog named Hachiko whose story and memory is beloved by the people of Tokyo and throughout Japan.

Hachiko arrived in Tokyo with his owner, Hidesamurō Ueno, an agricultural professor at the University of Tokyo, in 1924 and each day he saw Ueno off to work and met him at Shibuya Station upon his return. For ten years after Ueno died, in 1925, Hachiko returned to the station each evening to await the arrival of the train that his master rode. While some people at the station initially thought that Hachiko was just roaming around, they soon came to realize that he was waiting for his dead owner and they nicknamed the dog chuken (faithful dog).

In 1935 Hachiko died but his legend lives on in books, movies and classrooms throughout Japan where his loyalty and devotion is honored.

The latest take on Hachiko’s life story is a remake of the Japanese film, Hachiko monogatari, which was recently filmed in Rhode Island and is titled Hachiko: A Dog’s Story. The movies stars Richard Gere, Joan Allen and Jason Alexander and is set for release sometime in 2009.

Photo Credit: Personal Collection