The Untold Story of Hachiko The Loyal Dog


hachiko

Hidesaburo Ueno met Hachi (Hachiko) when Professor Ueno went to visit his friend Professor Hidesaburo Takaguchi who had two Japanese dogs. They were Hachi-Ko and Hana-Chan. The next day Hachi-Ko died because of illness so only Hana-chan was left behind. However, Hana-chan ran away so Professor Ueno took in Hachiko as a replacement for his deceased dog which he named after the puppy that he got from the same litter as Hachi-ko. Hachiko was a very loyal dog and he would go everywhere with Hidesaburo Ueno. Hachiko became well-known across Japan because of his loyalty towards Hidesaburo Ueno. Hachiko also used to come with Professor Hidesaburo Takaguchi to work at Tokyo’s Shibuya Train Station each day and waited for him outside the station until he returned from work in the evening. Hachiko even went into the train station by himself but no one allowed him to enter so he sat outside patiently waiting for Doctor Ueno.

How did Hachiko die?

On May 21st, 1925, Hachikō saw Doctor Ueno return as usual but he collapsed onto the street from a cerebral hemorrhage as soon as he saw Hachikō. Hidesaburo Ueno passed away and Hachi (Hachiko) was there to see him.

What did Hachiko do after the death of his master?

Hachi (Hachiko) returned to the train station every day for the next nine years, eight months and fifteen days until his death on March 8th, 1935. Hachiko’s story gained a lot of attention from the people who lived in Tokyo at that time because it showed just how loyal Hachiko was towards Hidesaburo Ueno. There was even a statue built as a memorial to Hachiko outside of Shibuya Train Station where he used to wait for Hidesaburo Ueno during those nine years after his owner passed away.

People have come up with several theories as to Hachiko’s death. Hachi (Hachiko) became very famous after Hidesaburo Ueno passed away. When Hachikō was alive, a small bronze statue was erected as a memorial in front of the Shibuya Train Station where it faithfully awaited its master until Hachikō’s death, Hachiko was then stuffed and put on display at the National Science Museum of Japan.

Hachiko became the subject of several books and movies and Hachi (Hachiko) used to attract a huge amount of attention from people who saw him in front of Shibuya Train Station. There were even books written about Hachi (Hachiko). Hachi (Hachiko) was already grown up when his owner died but he lived for another decade until Hachi’s (Hachikō’s) own death on March 8th, 1935. One theory about his death is that Hachi-ko was actually killed by an automobile because there were newspaper reports which described how a large truck hit Hachi-ko and Hachi (Hachiko) was left dead on the street with a broken neck. Hachiko’s stuffed body is now on display at the National Science Museum of Japan in Ueno, Tokyo. Hachikō was posthumously awarded two Japanese orders of merit: one from Emperor Hirohito for his loyalty to his master even after his death and another for being a cultural icon.

There are also other theories about how Hachiko died but they are less common than the theory that Hachi (Hachiko) was killed by an automobile because he used to stay outside Shibuya Train Station waiting for Hidesaburo Ueno each day even though Hachi (Hachiko) no longer worked there. Hachi (Hachiko) was never alone during those nine years because there were always people who stopped to give Hachi (Hachiko) food and pet Hachi (Hachiko). Yet Hachi-ko had grown into an old dog by then so Hachi-ko couldn’t defend himself very well if he were attacked by another animal.

When Hidesaburo Ueno’s family found his body, Hidesaburo Ueno still had the key to the Akita Inu house on a chain around his neck. They opened his hand and took out the key as proof of death as per tradition since Hidesaburo Takaguchi wanted to see with his own eyes that Hidesaburo Ueno was really dead. Hidesaburo Takaguchi had Hachiko cremated and Hachi (Hachiko)’s remains were buried at the Aoyama Cemetary in Minato, Tokyo. Hachi (Hachiko) is now one of the most well-known dog heroes in Japan and Hachi’s (Hachiko’s) story has been told all over the world with several books having been written about him as we’ve already mentioned above. Hachi-ko used to receive gifts and letters from people all over Japan and even overseas so there were also many articles written about Hachiko in several newspapers and magazines after Hidesaburo Ueno passed away because Hachi (Hachiko) was famous all over Japan. Hachi (Hachiko) was even mentioned in several books written by famous authors like

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