He's been famed in Tokyo since 1932, but the city's obsession through Hachiko goes way beyond the Shibuya station statue


You without doubt know around the Hachiko statue, Shibuya"s de facto meeting spot. And also you probably know a little bit around how the pup waited patiently at Shibuya terminal every day because that his owner come come house from work, also after his master passed away. The story continues to accumulate Japan to together an degree that anotherstatuewas erected in 2015 at The college of Tokyo’s campus, resulting in the nation to burned even an ext tears over the bittersweet tale. Due to the fact that we can"t aid getting brushed up up in the emotion, we determined to produce our very own ode to Hachi with a list of little-known facts about man"s ideal friend ever.

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Photo: Odate City Office

1. He has some deep country roots

In comparison to him gift a symbol of Tokyo"s most fashionable "hood, Hachiko to be not initially from Shibuya, or even Tokyo for that matter. He to be born in Odate City in Akita awareness in 1923 to dad Oshinai (named ~ the area they lived in) and mother Goma (which way "sesame"). The newborn pup was marketed for ¥30 (a sizeable sum at the time) come Hidesaburo Ueno, an agricultural scientist at the college of Tokyo that was looking for a pure-bred Akita-inu ("Akita dog"). He was put on an to express train and arrived in Tokyo 20 hrs later. Ueno called the pup Hachi ~ the number eight, which is thought about lucky in Japanese – the "ko" was added later.

Odate City is fiercely proud of gift Hachiko"s (and the Akita breed"s) furusato (hometown), and loves to show it. Not just is there a Hachiko frostbite in former of Odate terminal (above), girlfriend can find a Hachiko Shrine ~ above the platform and also many more Akita-inu statues in the area, choose on top of the postbox at the City hall (see below). They"ve additionally decorated the city"s manhole covers with Hachiko-related cartoon characters. And there"s a little museum, Akitainu Hozonkai, that"ll teach you all you ever wanted to know around Akita-inu.

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Photo: Edward Ma/UnsplashAn undated stock photograph of Shibuya Scramble Crossing

2. He was bullied

After Ueno"s fatality in 1925, Hachi was given away and also forced come hop between several houses miles away from Shibuya, but he kept running back to the now-famous spot wherein he offered to satisfy his owner every day. Eventually, he resolved at the home of Kikuzaburo Kobayashi, Ueno"s previous gardener. Kobayashi’s home was in Tomigaya (close come Ueno"s vault home and also within walking distance of Shibuya), for this reason the pup can easily do his day-to-day walk to the station. He continued to perform this for around 10 years, patiently wait for Ueno come come home. Sadly, there are several stories around how Hachi was beaten and also bullied by pedestrians and also even youngsters while the lingered approximately the station.

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Photo: Mikhail Vasilyev/Unsplash

3. His story went famous in 1932

When Hirokichi Saito, the chairman that the Nihon Ken Hozonkai(The Association because that the preservation of the Japanese Dog) found out around Hachi and his story, Saito published an post in Asahi Shimbun newspaper about how the bad pup to be being mistreated. The story naturally tugged in ~ readers" heartstrings and also Hachi quickly became a windy icon. The "ko" was added to the finish of Hachi’s name about this time to display respect because that his devotion and also loyalty, and he gradually ended up being known as Hachiko.

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Photo: Odate City Office

4. He attended the unveiling that his own statue

It"s unusual for an honorific statue come be constructed while the human – or in this case, dog – in question is quiet alive, but Hachiko actually made an appearance at the opening of his frosting in 1934. Rumour has it that before the unveiling countless scammers make the efforts to make money by claiming they to be the ones creating the statue. The genuine sculptor, Teru Ando, that was an acquaintance the Saito, hurried to finish his masterpiece before things got out that hand.

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Photo: K-factory/Photo AC

5. During civilization War II, his statue to be melted for train parts

Not also Hachiko"s statue controlled to obtain an exemption because that its metal during the Pacific War. To include insult come injury, the original statue was melted simply one day prior to the battle ended. Part say that the metal was provided to develop parts for a locomotive for what is now the Tokaido line. After ~ the war, Ando’s child Takeshi developed a new statue, i m sorry is the one you view in Shibuya today. The statue at Odate terminal was also melted during the war, v the existing statue dating from 1967.

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Photo: Joyce Lam

6. Hachiko and Ueno were reunited an ext than 90 years later

Eighty year after the canine’s death, The college of Tokyo initiated a job to build a memorial statueto reunite Hachiko and his owner. More than ¥10 millionin donations was elevated from individuals and also companies in order come realise the fictitious reunion. Friend can discover it on The university of Tokyo’s campus, simply next to Ueno Park.

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Photo: Keisuke Tanigawa

7. You deserve to still pay your respects

At Aoyama Cemetery, a monument was put beside Ueno’s tomb soon after Hachiko died in 1935. The cemetery is actually an ext like a park and covers an extensive area near Gaienmae and also Aoyama Itchome stations. Various other reasons to visit encompass the splendid cherry flower viewing during spring, the architecture of the tombstones, and the background – many of famous figures have actually been buried here since the cemetery was built in 1872.

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Photo: nationwide Museum the Nature and also Science

8. You have the right to view his organs and his stuffed body. Yes, really!

The initial autopsy report proclaimed that Hachiko’s internal organs were infested v parasitical disease. The apparently additionally had a few yakitori (chicken) skewers in his stomach. His organs to be stored in specimen bottles and a re-examination in 2010 concluded the Hachiko actually passed away of cancer. In instance you’re crawl to execute a small visual examination of her own, you can view his organs at the save on computer museum that The university of Tokyo"s Faculty of Agriculture, just near Ueno Park. If you prefer something slightly less gruesome however still a small bizarre, you can see a taxidermied Hachiko – displayed as "Akita-inu (Hachi)" and featuring his original hair – in ~ the nationwide Museum that Nature and Science.

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Photo: Kisa Toyoshima

9. He has a friend in Statueland

While at Ueno Park, friend might also want to visit the statue of samurai Saigo Takamori and also his pup Tsun. Many thanks to your status, Hachiko and Tsun have been combine off as symbolic protectors that Tokyo and Japanese economy. Kind of prefer the pairs of komainu ("lion-dogs") placed as guardians in ~ the enntrance gate to shrines. If you want to get all romantic around it (of course you do), it"s been said that the mrs Tsun is the perfect yin come Hachiko"s yang.

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Photo: Hachi: A Dog"s Tale

10. Hollywood made that American, but there"s a much better film

In 2009, the film Hachi: A Dog’s Tale starring Richard Gere lugged the story come the masses about the world. Back it"s suitably heartrending, the movie was collection in the us which detracts native its social significance. You"re much better off watching the initial 1987 film, Hachiko Monogatari, to get a an ext authentic feeling for Hachiko"s life and also times.