Wednesday, March 9, 2011

faithful dog Hachi

Hachi was a Akita that is a Japanese dog breed native to Akita. He was born in Akita Prefecture around the end of 1923 and was sent to a university professor living in Shibuya on January 14th in 1924. He followed the professor to the door or Shibuya Station in the morning and went to meet the professor at the station in the evening every day.

On May 21st in 1925, the professor died suddenly in his university. Hachi ate nothing for three days.
Although the wake for the professor was held on May 25th, Hachi went to meet the professor at the station with the other professor's dogs.
Hachi was forced to move from home to home after his master's death and settled into a gardener's house near Shibuya Station.

People had often seen Hachi around the staion since then.  Station attendants and stallkeepers treated him like a nuisance and chidren took advantage of his docility to draw a mustache on his face.

The president of the Japanese dogs preservation society wrote a letter to the newspaper in mercy.  Because of the article on Hachi, he has become known all over Japan. People around the station came to give him better treatment. a stallkeeper gave him skewered char-broiled chicken. Hachi came to be called Hachi-ko.

Some people said Hachi went to the station for the chiken. However, The gardener fed him adequately. The article allowed him to eat the chiken.
In 1934, the statue of Hachi was built and Hachi himself attended the unveiling ceremony. The dog had continued on going to the station about for 10 years.

On March 8th in 1935, Hachi was found dead near the station. A lavish memorial service for him was held at Shibuya Staion.  He was buried in Aoyama Cemetery where his master was laid to rest.
Stuffed Hachi is kept at the National Science Museum in Tokyo.
His organs are on exhibit at the museum belonging to Faculty of Agriculture, The University of Tokyo.

The cause of his death was thought to be a filaria infection. In March 2011, the MRI scans of his lung and heart reveal that the dog had terminal cancer.

The statue of Hachi-ko is in the little square in front of Shibuya Station and is one of the most famous meeting places at the station. I often met some of my friends in front of Hachi-ko, but there are so many people in the square. I had trouble meeting them.

Hachiko: A Dog's Story (or Hachi: A Dog's Tale) is a remake of the 1987 Japanese film "Hachiko Monogatari." It was directed by Lasse Hallströmand and stars Richard Gere.