Wednesday, December 10, 2008

[Tokyo Fall 2008] Shibuya: Hachiko

John and I were heading off to Shimokitazawa and had to transfer in Shibuya. We almost got lost because the we had to take the Keio Line, which station was actually across from the JR station... anyhow, while we were looking for the Keio Line, we saw Hachiko!

I had heard of Hachiko's story in the past, and was going to take a little trip out to Shibuya just to see him during our Tokyo trip. I was glad I saw him then, because we didn't actually had time to stop at Shibuya during this trip.

hachi dog statue (hachiko)

Hachiko was an Akita who was loyal to his master (Professor Ueno). He used to see Ueno off to work, and then wait for him to come home (that was approximately where the Tokyu Department Store is now) at the Shibuya Station. After Ueno passed away he still went to the station for his master's return day after day until he passed away in 1935. You can read about Hachiko and how a statue of him was built on Wikipedia (English) or here (Japanese).

Hachiko when he was older. (photo from Wikipedia Japan)

The area near the Hachiko statue has been one of the busiest spots near Shibuya station, where people wait here to meet up with friends, or protestors or fundraisers gather and plead their cases.

hachi dog statue (hachiko)

The day we saw Hachiko there was a guy giving a speech of some sort with a speaker. I didn't understand what he was saying, but looked like he was really seious about the matter. No one was really paying attention to him, but playing with their cell phones and iPod. Interesting.

There was also a bottle of black tea (I think) next to Hachiko. I think it belonged to the guy on the speaker. That, to me, did not seem respectful, and was not very "Japanese-y", but that's what I think.

Anyhow, I was glad we got to see Hachiko when we were lost.


Espa├žo CWagner said...


Yesterday I watched "Hachiko: A Dog's Story" (in portuguese "Sempre ao seu lado"), and just loved the history.

When a came home I found the Hachiko's page on Wikipedia and I saw the his picture. Then I googled for pictures of the statue and I found your blog, and God, how I envy you in a good way.

Congratulations for the opportunity to have seen the tribute to one of the most impressive animals I've heard.

Health and peace

Basem Ibraheem said...

does every dog from this akita speeches have the same behavior ?
I wonder why this dog has something special ?
otherwise he might have some mental disorder of some sort. Something similar should have happened since 1935 !

D|3 said...

Basem Ibraheem you're too stupid to understand it... i'm sure there's much more histories of great dogs but this is just a famous one... Dogs are better that people i think... and Hachiko is a proof of this.