Very few stories capture the minds as well as the hearts of listeners, especially in this pop culture of instant gratification and hit and quit’ mentality. Formulation of great attachments that transcends place as time is no longer a norm, but a rarity. This is the perfect time for remembering Hachiko the dog, and his saga of incredible loyalty.
Even though the legend of Hachiko is more than decades old, it is still as popular as the day it was discovered. So, who exactly was Hachiko?
Hachiko, affectionalty called as Hachi, is actually a national icon in Japan. Hachi was an Akita breed of dog with golden brown color, and his story is from 1925! Hachi’s owner was Eizaburo Ueno who was a professor at Tokyo University. He shared an incredible bond with Hachi, and treated the dog like his own son. This love was also reciprocated manifold by Hachi.
Every day, the professor travelled to and from his work by boarding a train from central Tokyo’s Shibuya Train Station. It was like a ritual for Hachi to see off Eizaburo to work, and receive him when he came back in afternoon, at the Shibuya Train Station. Sadly, the professor passed away at his work quite unexpectedly due to cerebral hemorrhage.
But Hachiko continued his wait for the professor to return. He diligently kept watch for his master to and kept watch in the small square in front of the station daily. This continued for nearly 10 years, until Hachiko’s death. He never swayed in his dedicated wait for his master’s return.
His poignant story became inspiration for many, and his legacy of loyalty burns bright even till now. In today’s pop culture, remembering Hachiko is being done with the aid of multiple movies, books, and many other media. There are also statues of Hachiko installed in various locations, especially in the Shibuya Train Station.
Hachiko’s story was broken when a major Japanese newspaper published an article on his long standing wait. This story was immediately picked up by national media and the story spread like a wildfire everywhere. Many passersby visited Hachiko and offered him treats while he was alive. People still continue to take pictures beside Hachi’s statues even today.
Hachiko and his vigil for his master stands as a stark remainder of all things that are innately pure and lasting. When remembering Hachiko, always think of his unshakable loyalty and faith, even with the crippling disappointment he faced day after day. No wonder he remains an inspiration, even after 80 years!