A national symbol of loyalty
In 1924, Ueno, a professor in the Agriculture Department at the
University of Tokyo, took in Hachiko as a pet. During his owner's life,
Hachiko greeted him at the end of each day at the nearby Shibuya
The pair continued their daily routine until May 1925, when Prof.
Ueno did not return. The professor had suffered from a cerebral
haemorrhage and died, never returning to the train station where Hachiko
was waiting. Every day for the next nine years the golden brown Akita
waited at the Shibuya station.
The permanent fixture at the train station that was Hachiko attracted
the attention of other commuters. Many people who frequented the Shibuya
train station had seen Hachiko and Professor Ueno together each day.
They brought Hachiko treats and food to nourish him during his wait.
That same year, one of Ueno's students (who had become an amateur
expert on the Akita breed) saw the dog at the station and followed him
to the Kobayashi home (the home of the former gardener of Professor Ueno
-Kikuzaboro Kobayashi) where he learned the history of Hachiko's life.
Shortly after this meeting, the former student published a documented
census of Akitas in Japan. His research found only 30 purebred Akitas
remaining, including Hachiko from Shibuya Station.
He returned frequently to visit the dog and over the years published
several articles about Hachiko's remarkable loyalty. In 1932 one of
these articles was published in the Tokyo Asahi Shimbun. Hachiko became
a national sensation. His faithfulness to his master's memory impressed
the people of Japan as a spirit of family loyalty all should strive to
Teachers and parents used Hachiko's vigil as an example for children
to follow. A well-known Japanese artist rendered sculpture of the dog,
and throughout the country a new awareness of the Akita breed grew.
Eventually, Hachiko's legendary faithfulness became a national symbol
Hachiko died on March 8, 1935, and was found on a street in Shibuya.
After decades of rumours, in March 2011 scientists settled the cause of
death of Hachiko. The dog had terminal cancer and a filaria infection
There were also four yakitori sticks in Hachiko's stomach, but the
sticks did not damage his stomach or cause his death. Hachiko was
stuffed and the mounted remains are kept at the National Science Museum
of Japan in Ueno, Tokyo. Each year on April 8, Hachiko's devotion is
honoured with a solemn ceremony of remembrance at Tokyo's Shibuya
railroad station. Hundreds of dog lovers often turn out to honour his
memory and loyalty - Internet