Shibuya Crossing is an extremely busy and famous pedestrian scramble crossing in the fashionable Shibuya district. Shibuya Crossing is an iconic scene and frequently used to depict Read more [...]
The Hachiko Statue in Shibuya Tokyo celebrates the life of Japan’s most famous dog, Hachiko, and his legendary loyalty to his owner. This Hachiko Statue is located next to the famous Shibuya Crossing and the very busy Shibuya Station. Indeed the Shibuya Station exit closest to the statue has been named after this famous dog. For more than fifty years this monument to Hachiko has retained its popularity as a tourist attraction and meeting place in this busy location.
The true story of Hachiko the dog, who was a golden brown male Akita Inu (a Japanese breed from the mountains of northern Japan), who would arrive at Shibuya Station every afternoon just to wait for the return of his master Professor Hidesaburo Ueno. This pattern went on for just over a year, until one day in 1932 Professor Hidesaburo Ueno did not return. He had suffered a cerebral hemorrhage while away at work and died.
For the next nine years, Hachiko continued to arrive at the station at just the right time to meet the train that should carry his master. Over these nine years, the fame of Hachiko grew with several articles in the newspapers including Asahi Shimbun (Asahi News). The first bronze statue of Hachiko was installed outside Shibuya Station in April 1934. However this was later destroyed, so the valuable metal could be used during World War II. In August 1948 a replacement statue was installed. The second Hachiko Statue was created by the son of the original artist, Takeshi Ando.
Hachiko died in March 8th 1935. His fur was preserved and is on display at the National Museum of Nature and Science. The rest of his remains were cremated and the ashes were buried with his master’s, Professor Hidesaburo Ueno, at Aoyama Cemetery. There is a monument to Hachiko next to his master’s grave in the cemetery.
The story of Hachiko is often told to children as an example of great loyalty. However the story of Hachiko has also be told in the British American drama film Hachi: A Dog’s Tale in 2009, which starred Richard Gere, Joan Allen and Sarah Roemer. This film was remake of the Japanese film, Hachikō Monogatari (ハチ公物語), The Tale of Hachiko, released in 1987. It is a little disappointing that the English language film changed the name of the dog to Hachi, as this leaves some confusion as to the name of the monument in Shibuya. This leaves some tourists looking for the Hachi Statue.
In addition to the Hachiko Statue at Shibuya Station, there are another two statues in Hachiko’s home town, one outside the Odate Station and another in front of the Akita Dog Museum. One of the many exits from Shibuya Station has been named after Hachiko.