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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Death Of The Faithful

Hachikō's owner's wife Yaeko Ueno (front row, second from right) and station staff in mourning.
This is a photo of the deceased pooch, Hachikō (ハチ公) who was born on November 10, 1923 and died on March 8, 1935.

Hachikō was an Akita dog born on a farm near Ōdate-shi (City of Ōdate), Akita-ken (Akita Prefecture, who is remembered for his remarkable loyalty to his owner which continued for many years after his owner's death.

His owner was In 1924, Ueno Hidesaburō (surname first), a professor in the agriculture department at the University of Tokyo, would come home from work every evening and there at the station was his loyal dog, Hachikō waiting to greet him.

But... in May of 1925, the professor died of a cerebral hemorrhage... and never returned to the station that evening... but still... Hachikō was there... and was there every evening ever after for years and years until he died in 1935., 10 years later.

He would appear every evening at the time his master's train was expected to pull into the Shibuya train station in Tokyo.

I've written about this story in the past... it always gets me right here (I'm pointing to my heart). I'm a dog guy... even been called a dog... and for the past two years now I haven't had a dog, after my chocolate lab passed away... I just can't afford one right now.

The only two other times in my life I was dog-less was between the ages of 0-2, and 25-28 when I was in Japan.

In April 1934, a bronze statue in his likeness was erected at Shibuya-eki (Shibuya train station), with the still living Hachikō himself there to see it.

Of course, when WWII was on-going, the present at its unveiling. the statue was recycled for the war effort.

But, once things began to settle down after the war, and the people of Japan wanted more normalcy back in their life, a new statue was commissioned, and erected in August of 1948.

It's still there... and whenever I was in the area looking to meet someone, they always told me to look for the statue at the Hachikō-guchi (Hachikō exit) at Shibuya train station.

Being a foreigner, I'd march right up to the statue causing scads of Japanese people to move to give me room, and I'd give the stony doggie a pat, and confirm that he was indeed a 'Good dog'.

Ugh... stupid allergies... it's making me tear up at the thought of all my passed doggies.

Andrew Joseph

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