Today is Hachiko’s (ハチ公) birthday! You may be wandering who Hachiko is, but if you’ve been to Japan you will surely have heard of this endearing story.
Hachiko is an Akita dog who was born on November 10th 1923 (which would make him 89 today). The story goes that Hachiko would wait everyday for his owner to come back from work at Shibuya station. But one day, his owner who suffered from a cerebral haemorrhage died and did not make it home. Not knowing this, Hachiko continued to wait for his owner every day at the same time for the next 9 years, until he too succumbed to illness and passed away on March 8th 1935.
Over the years, commuters and passers-by who had taken notice of Hachiko’s faithfulness would bring him food while he waited. Hachiko was soon featured in the newspapers and became sensation all through out Japan. He is now a national symbol of loyalty and faithfulness.
In 1934 they unveiled a bronze statue of Hachiko outside Shibuya station, which Hachiko himself witnessed. Today the statue is still there, and is often used as a meeting point.
So if you happen to be at Shibuya station today, don’t forget to wish Hachiko a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
(Feature image source)