In 1924, Hidesaburo Ueno , a professor in the agriculture department at the University of Tokyo , took in Hachiko, a golden brown Akita , as a pet. During his owner’s life, Hachiko greeted him at the end of each day at the nearby Shibuya Station . The pair continued their daily routine until May 1925, when Professor Ueno did not return. The professor had suffered from a cerebral hemorrhage and died, never returning to the train station where Hachiko was waiting. Every day for the next nine years the dog waited at Shibuya station.
Hachiko attracted the attention of other commuters. Many of the people who frequented the Shibuya train station had seen Hachiko and Professor Ueno together each day. Initial reactions from the people, especially from those working at the station, were not necessarily friendly. However, after the first appearance of the article about him on October 4, 1932 in Asahi Shimbun , people started to bring Hachiko treats and food to nourish him during his wait. This continued for nine years with Hachiko appearing precisely when the train was due at the station.
Hachiko died on March 8, 1935, and was found on a street in Shibuya.
Hachiko’s stuffed and mounted remains are kept at the National Science Museum of Japan in Ueno, Tokyo. His monument is in Aoyama cemetery in Minatoku, Tokyo.
Eventually, Hachiko’s legendary faithfulness became a national symbol of loyalty, particularly to the person and institution of the Emperor.
The exact spot where Hachiko waited in the train station is permanently marked with bronze paw-prints and text in Japanese explaining his loyalty.
Each year on April 8, Hachiko’s devotion is honored with a solemn ceremony of remembrance at Tokyo’s Shibuya railroad station. Hundreds of dog lovers often turn out to honor his memory and loyalty.