Hachiko the Dog
Hachiko the loyal dog. Statue outside the West Exit of JR Shibuya Station. It's a popular meeting spot and tourist photo opportunity. I had to wait several minutes for people to move so I could get these pictures - and then I only got it barely.
Hachikō (ハチ公, 1923 – 1935) was an Akita dog who is remembered for his remarkable loyalty to his owner which continued for many years after his owner's death. Hachikō is known in Japanese as "chūken Hachikō" (忠犬ハチ公, "faithful dog Hachikō").
I don't think the dog was "faithful" so much as stupid. It was too stupid to realize that its master - Hidesaburo Ueno, a professor in the agriculture department of the University of Tokyo - was not coming home. (The professor died at work in 1925.)
The Japanese opinion of the dog and the common foreign opinion says a lot about culture and values.
There have been two statues. The first, erected in 1934 while the dog was still alive, was melted down for its metal during WWII. The second, still standing, was erected in August 1948.
Hachiko's stuffed body is exhibited at the National Museum of Nature and Science in Ueno.
In 1994, the Nippon Cultural Broadcasting was able to lift a recording of Hachikō barking from an old record that had been broken into several pieces. A huge advertising campaign ensued and on Saturday, May 28, 1994, 59 years after his death, millions of radio listeners tuned in to hear Hachikō bark.
Hachi: A Dog’s Tale, released in August 2009, is an American movie starring actor Richard Gere, directed by Lasse Hallstrőm.