There are so many things to know about Hachiko, the famous Japanese Akita Dog. Immortalized as ‘Japan’s Most Loyal Dog’, his story has pulled the heartstrings of millions of people worldwide, laying a claim to our hearts with his unwavering loyalty.
So, what is Hachiko’s story? Why does the Akita Dog serve as an inspiration to us? Here are some things to know about Hachiko that will serve as an answer to all questions.
Who Is Hachiko?
Hachiko was an Akita Inu Dog who gained immense popularity in Japan. When his story began to be shared with people around the globe, Hachiko became an international symbol of unwavering love and loyalty.
In the age of technology and invention, Hachiko’s popularity must be a new phenomenon, right? Wrong. Hachiko has been famous in Tokyo, Japan since the year 1932 and his popularity has shown no signs of waning ever since.
So, when was Hachiko born, really? Hachiko, an Akita Inu dog, was born on a farm on 10 November 1923. He was then adopted by Hidesaburo Ueno who was a professor of Agriculture at the University of Tokyo.
The two soon fell into a comfortable routine. Ueno and Hachiko would walk to the station together, where Uneo would get on the train to go to work, not before petting Hachiko goodbye, of course!
Related: Your Guide To Long Haired Akita Dogs
You must be wondering what followed – what did Hachiko do every day? Hachiko waited at the train station for Ueno to come back instead of walking himself back home.
Hachiko, who was also called Hachi, soon made friends with local shopkeepers and station workers who fed him and kept an eye on him until Ueno came back. That begs the question, why was Hachiko so loyal? What set him apart from all the other dogs
Why Is Hachiko Famous?
Hachiko’s story has a tragic ending, one that has moved people to tears. One day, the professor went to work as per his normal routine. Hachiko waited at the train station after bidding his master goodbye. And a long goodbye it was, for Ueno never returned.
The Professor of Agriculture tragically suffered a brain hemorrhage which resulted in his death. However, Hachiko kept coming back to the train station like clockwork, waiting for Ueno to come back. This continued for nine long years and would probably have gone on for longer had Hachiko lived.
Hachiko’s loyalty and fidelity to Ueno is the reason why he came to be dubbed ‘the faithful dog’. The nickname stuck and after his death, his statue was erected outside the same station he frequented with Ueno. It quickly became a hotspot, attracting tourists from all over the world.
A second statue was erected in 2015 of Hachiko reunited with Ueno at the University of Tokyo’s campus, where Ueno worked as a Professor, giving the country another reminder of Hachiko and all that the loyal dog represented.
What Happened To Him?
Hachiko died at the age of 11 on March 8, 1935. His body was found on a street in Shibuya. It was taken to the Shibuya train station luggage room, where he spent his last years waiting for his master that could never return.
His loyalty and devotion had such a drastic impact and he was considered such a model of devotion that his organs were preserved after his death in 1935. Today, you can visit a taxidermy Hachiko display, complete with its original fur, at the National Science Museum of Japan.
A study of his organs determined the actual cause of his death in March 2011. As opposed to popular misconception, Hachiko did not die from wolfing down a yakitori skewer that resulted in a ruptured stomach.
Instead, his death was attributed to poor dog health as a result of cancer and filaria infection i.e worms.
The Meaning Of Loyalty and Love Based On Hachiko’s Story
Hachiko redefined loyalty and love. You can get the full extent of his story by watching Hachi: A Dog’s Tale, a film released in 2009 that documents the true story of Hachiko’s love and devotion for his owner.
What is the main idea of Hachiko? The central idea, or theme as we call it, is the dog’s loyalty and his close relationship with his master.
Hachiko’s story is as real as it gets. It keeps us mindful of the values we’ve left behind as we move towards an increasingly detached world. His loyalty and love, two important traits in Japanese culture, is the reason why he is celebrated as a national symbol in Japan.
An interest in things to know about Hachiko will forever continue, for this dog’s story was truly touching and a real tearjerker for any dog lover.
As these very qualities are becoming scarce to be found in this modern age, what can we learn from Hachiko? For starters, we can learn about his unwavering loyalty and his unconditional love for his master, which serves as an inspiration to stay connected to the ones we love in our own lives.
As the closing line of the movie goes, ‘what will survive of us is love’.