After the sudden death of its master, Hachiko went every day to wait for him, in vain. For nine years, the Akita dog returned to Shibuya Station at the time the man usually got off the train on his way home from work. This dog became the icon of fidelity and unconditional love in Japan, and later throughout the world. But what is Hachiko true story?
Hachiko True Story and Life
It was born on a farm in Odate on November 10, 1923. The dog protagonist of this beautiful and moving story was a male specimen of white Akita Inu. It was adopted by Hidesaburo Ueno, professor at the Imperial University of Tokyo. Since then it lived in the house of his new master, in Shibuya. Professor Ueno took the train to work every morning, and his dog accompanied him always. In addition, it returned to the station every time waiting for him to come back.
Ueno’s untimely and sudden death, due to a stroke while he was at university, separated the two friends forever. It was May 21, 1925 and Hachiko, like every day, showed up at the station at five in the afternoon. Its beloved master, however, did not get off the usual train. The dog waited in vain all evening.
Hachiko returned to the station the following day and did so in the following days, despite the disappointment of Professor Ueno’s failure to return. The stationmaster of Shibuya and the commuters who took the train daily soon began to notice the dog’s presence. So they began to look after it and try to protect it from cold and hunger.
The End of the Story
Little by little, the story of the two unlucky friends became known to a large part of the Japanese population. So many people, moved by so much love, went to the station of Shibuya to admire and, in some way, console the faithful dog during its master’s eternal wait.
Hachiko continued to wait every day for nine years – until it died. On March 8, 1935, Hachiko died of filariasis at the age of 11. People found it on a street in Shibuya, and the news of his death moved an entire country. On that day, the Japanese government declared national mourning.
Hachiko’s body has been preserved through taxidermy and exhibited at the National Museum of Nature and Science, located northwest of the station. Some of its bones, however, are in the cemetery of Aoyama, next to the tomb of Professor Ueno. On March 8 every year the Japanese organize a ceremony to remember Hachiko and its unconditional love. Moreover, the name of one of the five exits of Shibuya station is “Hachiko-guchi” (‘Hachiko’ entrance’) in its honour.