Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Today's Trivia - A Most Loyal Dog

Dogs are known as being loyal companions, but you’ve probably never met one as committed to its owner as Hachikō, an Akita from Tokyo that spent years waiting for his master to come home, long after his master had passed away...

Hachikō, a golden-brown male Akita, was taken in as a pet in 1924 by Dr. Hidesaburō Ueno, a professor of the Agricultural Department at the Tokyo University. Each day, the young dog would stand by the door to see Ueno leave for work, and every afternoon at 4:00 PM, Hachikō would walk to the Shibuya train station to greet the professor on his return home, so they could walk back together.

Photo of Hachikō

On May 21, 1925, Dr. Ueno suffered a stroke and died at the university; Hachikō was 18 months old at the time. That day, and every day for the next nine years, Hachikō continued to return to the station to wait for his beloved master before walking home alone. Nothing, and no one, was able to discourage this faithful dog from his daily routine. It wasn’t until his death in March 1934 that Hachikō failed to appear at the railroad station.

Hachikō became a very familiar – and beloved - presence at the train station, and a year before his death, in April 1934, Shibuya Station installed a bronze statue of the aging dog (Hachikō was present at its unveiling). Though the statue was recycled for the war effort during World War II, Takeshi Ando, son of the original artist, was commissioned to create a second statue of this amazing dog in 1948. The station entrance near the statue is named Hachikō-guchi", which means "The Hachikō Entrance/Exit".

Statue Of Hachikō

Each year on April 8th, hundreds of dog lovers gather for a solemn ceremony in Tokyo's Shibuya railroad station to honour the loyalty and devotion of one of the most loyal pets in history.

6 comments:

  1. What a touching little story...I'm quite tearful now!

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    1. Apparently, there's a movie of this story with Richard Gere playing the part of Dr. Hidesaburō Ueno. I think I'd ball my eyes out through it.

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  2. This is a heartwrenching story.

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    1. It really is. Poor dog...must have been so close to that professor.

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