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article imageDog faithfully awaits return of his master for past 11 years

By Chris V. Thangham     Aug 18, 2007 in Lifestyle
Hachiko, an Akita dog in Japan, sets an example for loyalty by waiting patiently for its master’s return from work in a railway station. It did this routine for 11 years every day.
The Akita breed dog, Hachikō was born on November 10, 1923 and died March 8, 1935. It is known in Japanese as (chūken hachikō, lit. 'faithful dog Hachikō'). It is remembered fondly in Japan for its intense loyalty, waiting for its master for more than 11 years.
In 1924, Hachiko was brought to Tokyo by its master Hidesamuro Ueno, a professor in the agricultural department at the University of Tokyo. When Hachiko’s master went to work, it greeted him off at the front door, and when his master came back from work he usually went to the nearest railway station and waited for him there. It used to do this as a routine every day. However, his master died a year later in May 1925, but Hachiko kept this routine and waited for its master at the station for the next 11 years until its death in 1935.
Others at the station initially thought it was waiting for something else or roaming around but later realized it was waiting for its dead master. So the vendors there used to give some bits of food and water for its unwavering loyalty. But others doubted it and said the dog might have come because of the food the vendors gave for it. If so, then the dog could have come at other times also, but appeared only in the evening time, precisely when the train was due at the station.
One of the professor's students was able to document the reason for the dog coming to the station for its master. And the student returned several times over the years and saw the dog appear precisely when the train was due at the station in the evening. He published this fact in one of the Tokyo’s largest newspaper after which the dog became a national figure and everyone were impressed with the loyalty shown by the dog and used it as an example for their children and students to follow.
Soon after a well known artist did a sculpture of the dog which was erected at Shibuya Station and Hachikō himself was present at its unveiling. The statue had to be recycled later for World War II. However, they did the sculpture again, and the original artist’s son made the statue of the dog in 1948. This statue has become a popular meeting spot in Japan.
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