There is a statue of a dog that sits outside of the Shibuya train station in Tokyo. This is his story.
The dog’s name was Hachiko and was once owned by a man named Professor Hidesaburō Ueno, who taught at Tokyo University. Hidesaburō adopted Hachiko back in 1923, every day they would walk to the train station from their farm. The loyal pet would bid his master a good day… and would return at the end of the day to walk back with his owner.
This tradition carried on for just over two years until tragedy struck and Hidesaburo died suddenly from a brain hemorrhage. Every day the dog would show up at the station to await Hidesaburo’s return. Hachi spent nine years waiting on that platform.
Eventually, a gardener who had known Hidesaburo adopted Hachi and cared for him. The people at the train station would bring him treats and snacks. One of his master’s former students eventually learned about Hachi and his unwavering loyalty. The student began publishing the story and sharing the word of this lovable pouch and his emotional vigil. The dog became known as Chuken Hachiko, which translates to ‘faithful dog Hachiko’ and a small bronze statue was erected in his honor outside of the station in 1934.
A year later, at the age of eleven, Hachi was found outside of the station. It was later discovered that he had had terminal cancer, but they assume he passed away peacefully that day. To this day, a ceremony is held every year on the anniversary of his death, where people gather to honor his love and devotion.
Aaaand in case you were wondering, Hachi’s story has actually turned into a Richard Gere movie. Even better, he’s earned references in shows like Futurama and video games like Persona 5.