In 1924, Professor Hidesaburo Ueno took the train to the University of Tokyo and didn’t make it back. He passed away at work. His dog Hachiko would routinely meet him at the station for his return home, and kept the daily pattern for over nine years until his death.
Since then, stories have been written, Japanese films made, and recently, an American movie, Hachi celebrated the story. Yet one of the most popular aspects of the dog’s memory is in statue form. It was created in 1934, melted down, and reconstructed after World War II.
I’ve visited the Hachiko statue at Tokyo’s Shibuya station many times over the last two decades. The dark bronze sculpture depicts an Akita dog sitting alert. I’ve seen folks take photos with, bow to, and offer gifts to the shrine. It’s a popular meeting location at one of the busiest intersections in the world and it’s the station where it all took place.
Dogs are more loyal than we are, and the pin commemorating Hachiko will be there when you’re not.
We have them here.