Have you ever heard about the story of a Japanese dog, named “Hachiko”? The story of this dog moved the Japanese and people around the world a lot, due to his living example of love and loyalty.
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Hachiko (ハチ公), or the faithful dog Hachikō (忠犬ハチ公), was an Akita dog, which is remembered to this day, after so long, for its example of loyalty to its owner. In the year 1924, Hachiko was brought to Tokyo by its owner, Ueno, a professor at Tokyo University. Professor Ueno, who has always been a dog lover, named Hachi (Hachiko) and filled him with love and affection.
Hachiko accompanied Ueno to the train station in Shibuya, returning to meet him at the end of the day, when Ueno came home from work. The sight of the two, who arrived at the station in the morning and returned home together at night, deeply impressed everyone who passed by. The routine continued until the teacher did not return on his train as usual. Hachiko's life as Professor Ueno's pet has been cut short. Ueno suffered a Cerebral Vascular Accident (CVA) at the university where he worked, he never returned to the station where Hachikō was waiting for him.
On May 21, 1925, Professor Ueno suffered a stroke during a meeting and died. The story goes that at Ueno's wake, Hachiko broke the glass doors of the house and made his way to the room where the body was placed and spent the night lying next to his master, refusing to leave.
After his owner died, Hachi went to live with the deceased professor's relatives, who also lived in Tokyo. But he ran away several times and returned home to Shibuya. Realizing that his owner no longer lived in the house in Shibuya, Hachi started going to Shibuya Station every day, as he had always done. And it stayed there, waiting for its late owner, day after day.
Hachiko in the Media
Hachi was later noticed by a former student of the deceased teacher. This one was studying the Akita race by coincidence. This student would always visit Hachi, and he also wrote several articles about Hachiko's unparalleled loyalty. His story was sent to the 朝市新聞 (asashi shinbun), which was published in September 1932.
His story became well known in Japan. Hachiko's example was even used as an example to instruct children.
Hachi's fame didn't make any difference in his life, as he continued in the same way as always, waiting for his owner. In 1929, Hachi ended up catching scabies, bringing him to the brink of death. Hachi was already with many wounds and was thin, so much so that one of his ears didn't rise anymore. He looked awful.
On the night of March 8, 1935, Hachiko left, aged 11, still at Shibuya Station, waiting for her owner. Some tributes were paid to Hachiko, such as a bronze statue, which is at the Shibuya box office. Also, every March 8, a ceremony is held at the train station.
The story became so famous that even a movie was created with the name: “Always by your side”. The story is pretty much the same, the difference is that the movie is an American adaptation.
Hachiko's story is a true example of love and loyalty to the owner. The Akita breed has been considered special in Japan for a long time. There are several reports of dogs of this breed that died in a noble way, trying to defend their owner.