Thursday, March 26, 2009

Hachiko in Shibuya

Ever wonder why there is a statue of a dog right outside of Shibuya station?

This dog is named Hachiko. Taken care of by a professor named Eizaburo Ueno from 1924, he was a lovable and gentle Akita dog. Hachiko would see Ueno off every day as he left for work and wait for him at Shibuya station when he returned. This relationship was observed by many people in Shibuya. Even after Ueno died in 1925, Hachiko waited all day and night in Shibuya for his master. This movie-like scene struck everyone, making the dog famous for his loyalty and devotion; and he was given the name Chuken Hachiko (Faithful dog Hachiko). In 1934, a statue honoring him was placed at Shibuya Station. Later in 1935, Hachiko was finally reunited with Ueno at age 13. The statue in Shibuya today is the second statue of Hachiko because the original statue was used in WWII to support the war effort. Today, this statue is the most notable and frequented meeting spot in Shibuya. The exit closest to the statue is even called the "Hachiko Exit". Next time you meet a friend in Shibuya, why not use the "Faithful dog Hachiko" as a meeting spot??

This wonderful story about Hachiko has now been made into film (Titled "Hachiko: A Dog's Story") starring Richard Gere as the professor, and will be in theaters this summer in Japan. It is a remake of a Japanese movie released in 1987.

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