One of the famous bustling districts in Tokyo is Shibuya, and its renowned pedestrian crossing is a well-known attraction. This crossing, where a multitude of people cross at once, has become a famous tourist spot in itself.
In front of Shibuya Station, there is a statue of a loyal dog named Hachiko.
“Hachiko Statue at Shibuya Station”
Hachiko, born in 1924, was originally a dog born in the home of a man named Saito Yoshikazu. Saito sent this dog to Professor Ueno Eizaburo of the Department of Agriculture at the University of Tokyo, a professor he deeply respected.
Professor Ueno took great care of the dog. After reaching adulthood, Hachiko would faithfully accompany Professor Ueno to the station every day, waiting for him to return and sometimes seeing him off.
However, in a sudden turn of events, Professor Ueno passed away in May 1925. Unaware of this, Hachiko waited for his owner in front of the Department of Agriculture for days, refusing food and shelter.
Later, Hachiko was entrusted to a distant relative of Professor Ueno’s wife, but due to various issues, he returned to Shibuya. Despite moving from house to house, Hachiko continued waiting for his owner at Shibuya Station, showing up to meet him or waiting for him to arrive.
“Recognition through Saito Hiroshi and Asahi Shimbun”
Saito Hiroshi, who organized the Japan Akita Conservation Society, witnessed Hachiko being mistreated by merchants. Feeling pity for Hachiko, Saito Hiroshi wrote an article about Hachiko’s story in the Asahi Shimbun newspaper, making it widely known. As a result, Hachiko became a famous Akita dog in Japan. Hachiko passed away on March 8, 1935, and a statue in his likeness was erected in front of Shibuya Station after his death.
“Melting and Recasting of the Hachiko Statue during World War II”
During World War II, due to Japan’s metal mobilization, the Hachiko statue melted. It was later recast in 1948 and slightly repositioned, finding its current location next to Shibuya Station.
“Hachiko’s Story in Film”
Hachiko’s story deeply touched hearts across Japan. It was even included in Japanese textbooks, and in 1987, a Hachiko movie was produced.
Moreover, at Shibuya Station, you can see buses with Hachiko characters, and various products and artworks related to Hachiko can be found throughout the area.
If you ever find yourself passing by Shibuya Station, taking a moment to observe Hachiko’s statue is certainly worthwhile.
“Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan – Hachiko Statue”
- Address: 1 Chome-2 Dogenzaka, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0043, Japan
- Phone: +81 3-3462-8311
- Website: Tokyo Official Travel Guide – Hachiko Statue