30 June 2010
28 June 2010
In 1924, Hidesaburō Ueno, a professor in the agriculture department at the University of Tokyo took in Hachikō as a pet. During his owner's life Hachikō saw him out from the front door and greeted him at the end of the day at the nearby Shibuya Station. The pair continued their daily routine until May 1925, when Professor Ueno did not return on the usual train one evening. The professor had suffered from a cerebral hemorrhage at the university that day. He died and never returned to the train station where his friend was waiting. Hachikō was loyal and every day for the next nine years he waited sitting there amongst the town's folk.
Hachikō was given away after his master's death, but he routinely escaped, showing up again and again at his old home. Eventually, Hachikō apparently realized that Professor Ueno no longer lived at the house. So he went to look for his master at the train station where he had accompanied him so many times before. Each day, Hachikō waited for Professor Ueno to return. And each day he did not see his friend among the commuters at the station. This continued for nine years with Hachikō appearing precisely when the train was due at the station.
During this time, it turned out that there was only about 30 purebred Akitas remaining in Japan, but when the story about Hachiko got out in the newspapers the dog was thrown into national spotlight. So eventually, Hachiko's legendary faithfulness became a national symbol of loyalty and is now one of the most commons dog breeds in Japan.