Humans have developed a special bond with dogs since ages. Dogs, in general, are considered as man’s best friend as they are loyal, affectionate and are solidly devoted to their master. In particular, when it comes to adherence, an Akita dog stands out in comparison to other breeds.
Dogs offer unconditional love and companionship to their owners and family members until their very last breath. Their loyalty is unquestionable and there have been many numerous stories of dogs acting selflessly and loyal to the owners.
But none can compare to this Akita dog’s love, whose story of loyalty is heart-wrenching and inspiring like no other.
Yes! we are going to let you know a tear-jerking story of one of the most faithful dogs the world had ever seen.
THE GREATEST AKITA DOG, HACHIKO
Just outside the very busy Shibuya Station of Tokyo, Japan, sits a bronze statue of a dog whose name you’ve probably never heard of — but he is the national symbol of loyalty in Japan.
His name is Hachiko, an Akita, who is known as the world’s most loyal dog. And his story dates to 1920s.
You may wonder what’s so special with Hachiko to get his own statue?
Read through his amazing and real story. It may end sad to you but will feed you some good thoughts on dogs at the end. Trust me, it did for me and now, I love dogs more than ever.
STORY OF THE LEGENDARY AKITA DOG – HACHIKO
To start with the story – Let’s roll back 95 years.
Hachiko, a golden-brown Akita dog was born on November 10, 1923, in a farm near the city of Odate in Akita prefecture.
After few days (sometime in January 1924), Hidesaburo Ueno, a Professor of Agriculture Science at Tokyo University adopted Hachiko. Ueno took him to his home near Shibuya station and named the puppy as Hachi (the suffix ‘ko’ is added for affection). And that’s how Hachiko got his name.
THE UENO-HACHI BONDAGE
Professor Ueno was a kind and caring man who loved Hachi immensely and treated him like his son. With an Akita dog, what you give is what you get. Let alone Akita, it is the same for all the creatures. Consequently, Hachi became too close to his owner as well.
The Ueno-Hachi bond was so strong that they were inseparable.
The professor used to take a train from the Shibuya Station every day to go to the university.
Not missing even a single day, Hachiko used to accompany Ueno on his long walk to the Shibuya train station when he left for work. The Professor would buy his ticket, bid bye to Hachiko, and board the train.
Not stopping there, Hachiko used to even pick him up every day at the station when professor returned from work in the late afternoon. On his return, the professor would find Hachi waiting patiently for him wagging his tail.
No matter what, a tail-wagging dog is cute and always melts our hearts, Doesn’t it?
— The Japan News (@The_Japan_News) November 5, 2015
This happy daily routine continued for almost 1.5 years, until that one fateful day in 1925.
On May 21, 1925, Hachiko was waiting eagerly by the exit at Shibuya train station for his dear master. The train arrived on its regular time but this time without Ueno.
HACHI’S FIRE-EATING HOPES IN THE IMPOSSIBLE
Professor Hidesaburo Ueno died unexpectedly from a fatal cerebral haemorrhage in the middle of a lecture at the university.
But as it was impossible for sweet Hachi to realize it. The symbol of loyalty kept waiting at the station for his beloved master’s return who would never come back.
After few days of Ueno’s death, unable to provide adequate love and care – his wife gave Hachi to their former gardener named Kikuzaboro Kobayashi.
This is the point that turned Hachiko from an ordinary Akita dog to the legendary Akita who rightly deserved a statue. As they say that none can surpass a dog’s loyalty and Hachi was a living proof of that.
Yes! For the next nine years, nine months and 15 days (almost 10 years), Hachiko used to go and sit at the station every day, at the same time, at the same place, waiting for his dear master who, of course, would never return.
Imagine – 9 years, 9 months and 15 days – a total of more than 3500 days to wait for something that would never happen. But Hachi’s hopes were high though we know the end was going to be disappointing for him.
HACHIKO TURNING INTO A HOUSEHOLD NAME
Meanwhile, Hirockichi, one of Ueno’s old students, who was doing some research on the Akita breed spotted Hachi at the station. Hachi’s wait for Ueno fostered curiosity in Hirockichi.
Therefore, one day, Hirockichi followed Hachi after his wait, back to Kobayashi’s home and learnt the heart-touching story of the Akita dog.
Touched by his loyalty, he wrote a number of articles about Hachiko’s heart-warming tale. Very soon, the news spread like wildfire and Hachiko became an instant sensation. People adored his loyalty, love, and devotion.
Also, people from all over the country came to the station to witness the celebrated faithful Akita dog. They even offered him treats. 🙂
Everyone started calling Hachiko as ‘Chuken-Hachikō’, meaning Hachiko – The Faithful Dog.
In 1934, they even erected a statue of Hachiko in front of Shibuya train station (where the Akita dog used to wait for his master) – with Hachi himself present as the main guest at the grand unveiling.
THE AKITA DOG NEVER GAVE-UP
Hachi waited, waited and waited for Ueno untiringly until his last breath before succumbing on March 8, 1935.
Hachi is, indeed, a heroic Akita dog.
According to the sources, the reason for Hachiko’s death was a filarial infection and terminal cancer.
The whole of Japan was heartbroken on hearing Hachiko’s death.
To embark Hachi’s fidelity, a monument of the Akita dog has been built right beside his beloved master Ueno’s grave at the Aoyama Cemetry in Tokyo.
Every year, on Hachi’s death anniversary – 8th March, a ceremony is held in his honour at the Shibuya Station. Hundreds of people come to the station and pay homage to Hachiko’s loyalty on this day.
Today, the stuffed and mounted remains of Hachiko are preserved at the National Science Museum of Japan in Ueno, Tokyo.
Further, touched by his loyalty and unbelievable determination, Hachi’s life was depicted in the form of books and movies. Notably, in 2009, Director Lasse Hallstrom made a Hollywood movie ‘Hachi: A Dog’s Tale‘ starring Richard Gere and Joan Allen in lead roles.
This particular scene from the movie will definitely break you into pieces. ‘You old thing, you are still waiting!’ 😥
The movie which beautifully portrays Hachiko’s story made the Akita dog’s true unconditional love recognized worldwide.
Hachiko might have died but his loyalty remains etched in millions of hearts forever.
Share the legendary Akita dog, Hachiko’s story with your lovable ones and make their day beautiful.