Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Shibuya: Hachiko's Statue- A Popular Meeting Place In Tokyo
Hachiko's Bronze Statue in Shibuya Train Station, a popular meeting place
My son was excited to see Hachiko and he even touched the statue
This is the view in front of the Hachiko's statue, a popular meeting place in Tokyo
Feb. 18, 2009- We went to Shibuya in Tokyo to meet my cousin there who is now an English Instructor in Yokohama, he is from California but working now here in Japan. He told me to meet up in Shibuya Station right in front of Hachiko's bronze statue. I have no idea who Hachiko was until he told me the story of that faithful dog who died waiting for his master in Shibuya Station. I was so touched by Hachiko's story and with no hesitation I told him that we will meet him in that place to see the statue of Hachiko and be part of Shibuya's popular rendezvous.
Have you heard the story of Hachiko, the faithful dog? And did you know that Richard Gere, was moved to tears by the true story of Hachiko? Actually, he is now doing a movie, "Hachiko, A Dog's Story" to be released this August 2009 and the movie is being filmed in Rhode Island (I wish they shoot the movie in Shibuya). I can't wait to watch that movie.
Hachiko (pronounced HA-chi-ko) was born in Odate, in the Akita province of Japan. Ueno the owner, brought him to Tokyo. Hachiko followed Professor Ueno everywhere. He accompanied Ueno to the Shibuya train station every morning and then returned and waited for him every afternoon. But, one day in May 1925, Professor Ueno didn’t come home; he had suffered a stroke at his work that day. He died and never returned to the train station where his friend was waiting. But the faithful dog came back and returned to the train station every afternoon for 10 years, at precisely the time that Ueno’s train was due, waiting for the professor. Hachiko waited for him until his own death in March 1935.
Here's the detail story of Hachiko from wikipedia:
Hachikō ( November 10, 1923–March 8, 1935), known in Japanese as chūken Hachikō, "faithful dog Hachikō", was an Akita dog born in the city of Odate, Akita Prefecture remembered for his loyalty to his master.
In 1924, Hachikō was brought to Tokyo by his owner, Hidesaburō Ueno, a professor in the agriculture department at the University of Tokyo. During his owner's life Hachikō saw him off from the front door and greeted him at the end of the day at the nearby Shibuya Station. The pair continued their daily routine until May 1925, when Professor Ueno didn't return on the usual train one evening. The professor had suffered a stroke at the university that day. He died and never returned to the train station where his friend was waiting.
Hachikō was given away after his master's death, but he routinely escaped, showing up again and again at his old home. After time, Hachikō apparently realized that Professor Ueno no longer lived at the house. So he went to look for his master at the train station where he had accompanied him so many times before. Each day, Hachikō waited for Professor Ueno to return. And each day he didn't see his friend among the commuters at the station.
The permanent fixture at the train station that was Hachikō attracted the attention of other commuters. Many of the people who frequented the Shibuya train station had seen Hachikō and Professor Ueno together each day. Realizing that Hachikō waited in vigil for his dead master, their hearts were touched. They brought Hachikō treats and food to nourish him during his wait.
This continued for 10 years, with Hachikō appearing only in the evening time, precisely when the train was due at the station.
That same year, another of Ueno's former students (who had become something of an expert on the Akita breed) saw the dog at the station and followed him to the Kobayashi home where he learned the history of Hachikō'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 Hachikō from Shibuya Station.
Professor Ueno's former student returned frequently to visit the dog and over the years published several articles about Hachikō's remarkable loyalty. In 1932 one of these articles, published in Tokyo's largest newspaper, threw the dog into the national spotlight. Hachikō 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 achieve. Teachers and parents used Hachikō's vigil as an example for children to follow. A well-known Japanese artist rendered a sculpture of the dog, and throughout the country a new awareness of the Akita breed grew.
Hachikō died on March 8, 1935, of filariasis (heartworm). His stuffed and mounted remains are kept at the National Science Museum of Japan in Ueno, Tokyo.
I searched the youtube and found this touching video a tribute to Hachiko, thanks to Ugly GalJo for uploading this video: