Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 20 March 2011





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Mystery solved in legendary dog Hachiko 's death

Scientists have settled a decades-old mystery by naming a cause of death for Japan's most famous dog, Hachiko, whose legendary loyalty was immortalised in a Hollywood movie,"Hachi: A Dog's Story,"(a remake of a 1987 Japanese movie),starring Richard Gere, in 2009.

University of Tokyo veterinarians say Hachiko died of cancer and worms, not because he swallowed a chicken skewer that ruptured his stomach as legend had had it.

 Hachiko and the bronze statue put up at the Shiuya Station.

They said on March 3 after examining his innards that they found Hachiko had terminal cancer and also a filaria infection and worms.

Four yakitori sticks remained in Hachiko's stomach, but they did not damage his stomach or cause death, said Kazuyuki Uchida, one of the veterinarians.

The tale of the faithful dog

Each year on April 8, at a solemn ceremony in Tokyo's Shibuya railroad station, hundreds of dog lovers do homage to the loyalty and devotion of an Akita dog, Hachiko, faithful pet of Dr. Eisaburo Ueno, a professor at Tokyo University.

Hachiko was born in Odate, Japan in November 1923, a white male Akita dog. At the age of two months, he was sent to the home of Professor Ueno of the Agricultural Department of the Tokyo University.

The professor's home was in the Shibuya district of Tokyo. The professor commuted to the agricultural department in Komaba and the agricultural experimental station in Nishihara.

Tragedy struck on May 21, 1925, when Dr. Ueno did not return because he had suffered a stroke and died at the university. Hachiko was eighteen months old.

The next day and for the next nine years, Hachiko returned to the station and waited for his beloved master before walking home, alone. Nothing and no one could discourage Hachiko from maintaining his nightly vigil.

It was not until he followed his master in death, in March l934, that Hachiko failed to appear in his place at the railroad station.

Hachiko was sent to homes of relatives or friends, but he always continued to await his master, who was never to return, at the train station.

The fidelity of Hachiko was known throughout Japan, owing to an article, "Faithful Old dog Awaits Return of Master Dead for Seven Years" in the October 4, 1933 issue of Aashi Shinbun (Asahi News). Upon his death, newspaper stories led to the suggestion that a statue be erected in the station. Contributions from the United States and other countries were received.

Today, the statue of the Akita, Hachiko, pays silent tribute to the breed's faithfulness and loyalty.

A bronze statue of Hachiko was put up at his waiting spot outside the Shibuya railroad station, which is now probably the most popular rendezvous point in Shibuya. Hachiko was mounted and stuffed and is on now on display at the Tokyo Museum o f Art

Hachiko, was also the hero of Japanese children's books.

A musical to keep you in stitches from Colombo International School

The Junior Section of Colombo International School will present their annual musical production, on March 24 and 25 at the CIS Auditorium. The musical is produced and directed by Ms. Gopitha Kiribandara.

The cast in action at rehearsals.

The musical/choral director of the play is Mrs. Jayanthi Sivapragasam.

This year's production is a comical adaptation of the famous legend of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table.

This time, however, they are nothing but a bumbling bunch of misfits!

When young squire Watt Cobblers is expelled from Knight School, he reluctantly becomes Merlin's new apprentice. But trouble is never far away, and soon Camelot Castle collapses into chaos. Merlin has lost Excalibur, King Arthur's daughters have been kidnapped and his knights have turned into farmyard animals.

Watt and his new found friends Dusty Dragon and wayward Princess Alice set off on the biggest quest of their lives.

It remains to be seen if these unlikely heroes can rescue the princesses, save Excalibur and defeat the evil Black Knight...

The answers are found in this magical production, where everyone is guaranteed to sing a lot, dance a lot and laugh a lot... at Camelot!

As the performance date looms nearer, the cast and crew are happily busying themselves with the rehearsals.

Winners of 'Learn about America' essay competition - September 2010

[12-14 years]

1st Place: S. A. Dehin Samaraweera, Central College, Kuliyapitiya.

2nd Place: Hansika Wansatilake, Regent International College, Gampaha.

3rd Place: Nanduni UthpalaChandrasiri, Sussex College, Gampaha.

[15-16 years]

1st Place: Fathima Bushra Faris, Badi-ud-Din Mahmud Girls' College, Kandy.

2nd Place: M. S. F. U. Hishor, Mahmud Ladies' College, Kalmunai.

3rd Place: Suwini Dileka Perera, Musaeus College, Colombo 7.

[17-18 year]

1st Place: Rilwan Saliheen Shariffdeen, St. Anthony's College, Wattala.

2nd Place: K. G. Dulanka Chathurangani Koswaththa, Kaikawala Central College, Kaikawala.

3rd Place: Yogarajah Kishanthaney, Paddiruppu Madya Maha Vidyalaya, Kaluwanchikudy.


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