Hachiko

In case you still haven’t seen that tearjerker of a movie, Hachiko is perhaps the most famous dog in all of Japan. His owner was a professor at the University of Tokyo and they would walk together to Shibuya Train Station every morning back in 1924. At the end of each work day Hachiko would meet the professor back at the station and then go home together. This routine continued on for about another year until the professor suffered a fatal haemorrhage at work. For the next nine years, Hachiko returned and waited patiently at Shibuya station for his owner that would never return again.

121204_HachikoSoon enough, people started to notice and bring treats to feed Hachiko while waiting. He became a national symbol of loyalty and soon enough a bronze statue was erected in one of Shibuya Station’s exits to honour him.  Unfortunately though, the original bronze statue was recycled during World War II and the above is the second statue commissioned in 1948. This bronze masterpiece still stands today and is a popular meeting spot in an otherwise crowded Shibuya.

Hachiko died in 1935 due to terminal cancer and a worm infection. His stuffed remains are kept in the  National Science Museum of Japan.