In a span of 90 years, the loyalty of a dog from a sleepy town in Japan has traversed from Shibuya via newspapers, reached Tokyo and neighbouring islands via textbooks and animated films and further across the oceans via a Hollywood adaptation; it would hardly come as a surprise if we find in an internet survey that Hachiko is the world’s most famous dog.
A bronze statue was installed at the University of Tokyo where Hachiko’s human Hidesaburo Ueno (1871-1925), was a professor of agricultural engineering. The statue depicts Hachiko jumping up to greet Ueno, who is extending his hand to pat the dog.
Hachiko died of the filarial disease in 1935, 10 years after Ueno’s death. All through these years, Hachiko religiously kept coming, each day without fail, to the railway station, waiting for Ueno to return from college.
…and he waited his entire life for someone who couldn’t come home.
In commemoration of the daily vigil, a lone statue of Hachiko was erected in front of Shibuya Station in 1934, even while the canine was still alive.
In an another realm, Ueno and Hachiko reunited, must be looking down at the statue with a smile.