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Hachikō (ハチ公)
Hachikō (c. 1934)
SpeciesDog (Canis familiaris)
BreedAkita Inu
Born(1923-11-10)November 10, 1923
near the city of Ōdate, Akita Prefecture, Japan
DiedMarch 8, 1935(1935-03-08) (aged 11)
Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan
Resting placeAoyama Cemetery, Minato, Tokyo
Known forFaithfully waiting for the return of his deceased owner for more than nine years until his death.
TitleChūken Hachikō (忠犬ハチ公, 'faithful dog Hachikō')
OwnerHidesaburō Ueno
Weight41 kg (90 lb)
Height64 cm (25 in)[1]
AppearanceWhite (peach white)

Hachikō (ハチ公, November 10, 1923 – March 8, 1935) was a Japanese Akita dog remembered for his remarkable loyalty to his owner, Hidesaburō Ueno, for whom he continued to wait for over nine years following Ueno's death.[2]

Hachikō was born on November 10, 1923, at a farm near the city of Ōdate, Akita Prefecture.[3] In 1924, Hidesaburō Ueno, a professor at the Tokyo Imperial University, brought him to live in Shibuya, Tokyo, as his pet. Hachikō would meet Ueno at Shibuya Station every day after his commute home. This continued until May 21, 1925, when Ueno died of a cerebral hemorrhage while at work. From then until his death on March 8, 1935, Hachikō would return to Shibuya Station every day to await Ueno's return.

During his lifetime, the dog was held up in Japanese culture as an example of loyalty and fidelity. Since his death, he continues to be remembered worldwide in popular culture with statues, movies and books. Hachikō is also known in Japanese as chūken Hachikō (忠犬ハチ公, 'faithful dog Hachikō'), with the suffix -kō originating as one once used for ancient Chinese dukes;[4] in this context, it was an affectionate addition to his name Hachi.


Hachikō with an unknown family
Shibuya Station as it was in the Taishō and pre-war Shōwa eras (1912–1945)

Hachikō, a white Akita, was born on November 10, 1923, at a farm located in Ōdate, Akita Prefecture, Japan. In 1924, Hidesaburō Ueno, a professor in the agriculture department at the Tokyo Imperial University, took Hachikō as a pet and brought him to live in Shibuya, Tokyo. Ueno would commute daily to work, and Hachikō would leave the house to greet him at the end of each day at the nearby Shibuya Station. The pair continued the daily routine until May 21, 1925, when Ueno did not return. The professor had suffered a cerebral hemorrhage while he was giving a lecture to his class, and he died without ever returning to the train station at which Hachikō waited.

Each day, for the next 9 years, 9 months and 15 days, Hachikō awaited Ueno's return, appearing precisely when the train was due at the station.

Hachikō attracted the attention of other commuters. Many of the people who frequented the Shibuya train station had seen Hachikō 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 in Asahi Shimbun on October 4, 1932, people started to bring Hachikō treats and food to nourish him during his wait.[5]


Hachikō at Shibuya station, c. 1933

One of Ueno's students, Hirokichi Saito, who developed expertise on the Akita breed, saw the dog at the station and followed him to the home of Ueno's former gardener, Kozaburo Kobayashi,[6] where he learned the history of Hachikō's life. Shortly after the meeting, the former student published a documented census of Akitas in Japan. His research found only 30 purebred Akitas remaining, including Hachikō from Shibuya Station.

He returned frequently to visit Hachikō, and over the years he published several articles about the dog's remarkable loyalty. In 1932, one of his articles, published in Asahi Shimbun, placed the dog in the national spotlight.

Last known photo of Hachikō – pictured with his owner's partner Yaeko Ueno (front row, second from right) and station staff in mourning in Tokyo on March 8, 1935

Hachikō became a national sensation. His faithfulness to his master's memory impressed the people of Japan as a spirit of family loyalty to which all should strive to achieve. Teachers and parents used Hachikō's vigil as an example for children to follow. Teru Ando rendered a sculpture of the dog, and throughout the country, a new awareness of the Akita breed grew.

Eventually, Hachikō's faithfulness became a national symbol of loyalty, particularly to the person and institution of Emperors.[7]


Hachikō died on March 8, 1935, at the age of 11. He was found on a street in Shibuya.[8] In March 2011, scientists finally settled the cause of Hachikō's death: the dog had both terminal cancer and a filaria infection. There were also four yakitori skewers in Hachikō's stomach, but the skewers did not damage his stomach nor cause his death.[9][10]


Hachikō's grave beside Professor Ueno's grave in Aoyama Cemetery, Minato, Tokyo

After his death, Hachikō's remains were cremated and his ashes were buried in Aoyama Cemetery, Minato, Tokyo where they rest beside those of Hachikō's beloved master, Professor Ueno. Hachikō's pelt was preserved after his death, and his taxidermy mount is on permanent display at the National Science Museum of Japan in Ueno, Tokyo.[11][12][13][14]

Bronze statues[edit]

In April 1934, a bronze statue based in his likeness sculpted by Teru Ando was erected at Shibuya Station. The statue was recycled for the war effort during World War II. In 1948, Takeshi Ando (son of the original artist) made a second statue.[15] The new statue, which was erected in August 1948, still stands and is a popular meeting spot. The station entrance near this statue is named "Hachikō-guchi", meaning "The Hachikō Entrance/Exit", and is one of Shibuya Station's five exits.

A similar statue stands in Hachikō's hometown, in front of Ōdate Station, it was built in 1932.[16] In 2004, a new statue of Hachikō was erected in front of the Akita Dog Museum in Ōdate.[17][18]

After the release of the American movie Hachi: A Dog's Tale (2009), which was filmed in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, the Japanese Consulate in the United States helped the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council and the city of Woonsocket to unveil an identical statue of Hachikō at the Woonsocket Depot Square, which was the location of the "Bedridge" train station featured in the movie.[19]

On March 9, 2015, the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Tokyo unveiled a bronze statue depicting Ueno returning to meet Hachikō at the University of Tokyo, Japan to commemorate the 80th anniversary of Hachikō's death.[20] The statue was sculpted by Tsutomu Ueda from Nagoya and depicts a very excited Hachikō jumping up to greet his master at the end of a workday. Ueno is dressed in a hat, suit, and trench coat, with his briefcase placed on the ground. Hachikō wears a studded harness as seen in his last photos.[21]

Annual ceremony[edit]

March 8, 1936, first anniversary of Hachiko's death

Each year on March 8, Hachikō's devotion is honored with a solemn ceremony of remembrance at Shibuya Station. Hundreds of dog lovers often turn out to honor his memory and loyalty.[22][23]

Hachikō's bark[edit]

In 1994, Nippon Cultural Broadcasting in Japan was able to lift a recording of Hachikō barking from an old 78 RPM record that had been broken into several pieces. The pieces were melded together using a laser. A huge advertising campaign ensued and on Saturday, May 28, 1994, 59 years after his death, millions of radio listeners tuned in to hear Hachikō's bark.[24]

Shibuya ward minibus[edit]

Shibuya Hachiko minibus

In 2003, in Shibuya ward, a minibus (officially called "community bus") started routes in the ward, nicknamed "Hachiko-bus". There are four different routes. People can hear the theme song Hachiko-basu no uta (ハチ公バスのうた) in this bus.[citation needed]


In July 2012, rare photos from Hachikō's life were shown at the Shibuya Folk and Literary Shirane Memorial Museum[25] in Shibuya ward as part of the Shin Shuzo Shiryoten (exhibition of newly stored materials).[26]

In November 2015, a previously undiscovered photograph of Hachikō was published for the first time. The image, which was captured in 1934 by a Tokyo bank employee, shows the dog relaxing by himself in front of Shibuya Station.[27]

Yaeko Sakano[edit]

Yaeko Sakano (坂野 八重子, Sakano Yaeko), more often referred as Yaeko Ueno, was the unmarried partner of Hidesaburō Ueno for about 10 years until his death in 1925. Hachikō was reported to have shown great happiness and affection towards her whenever she came to visit him. Yaeko died on April 30, 1961, at the age of 76 and was buried at a temple in Taitō, further away from Ueno's grave, despite her requests to her family members to be buried with her late partner.

In 2013, Yaeko's record, which indicated that she had wanted to be buried with Ueno, was found by Sho Shiozawa, the professor of the University of Tokyo. Shiozawa was also the president of the Japanese Society of Irrigation, Drainage and Rural Engineering, which manages Ueno's grave at Aoyama Cemetery.[28]

Later on November 10, 2013, which also marked the 90th anniversary of the birth of Hachikō, Sho Shiozawa and Keita Matsui, a curator of the Shibuya Folk and Literary Shirane Memorial Museum, felt the need of Yaeko to be buried together with Ueno and Hachikō.[29]

The process began with willing consent from the Ueno and Sakano families and the successful negotiations with management of the Aoyama Cemetery. However, due to regulations and bureaucracy, the process took about 2 years. Shiozawa also went on as one of the organizers involved with the erection of bronze statue of Hachikō and Ueno which was unveiled on the grounds of the University of Tokyo on March 9, 2015, to commemorate the 80th anniversary of Hachikō's death.

Reunion of Hachikō's family[edit]

On May 19, 2016, during the ceremony at the Aoyama Cemetery with both Ueno and Sakano families in present, some of the ashes of Yaeko Sakano were buried with Ueno and Hachikō, her name and the date of her death was inscribed on the side of his tombstone, thus fulfilling the reunion of Hachikō's family.[30]

"By putting the names of both on their grave, we can show future generations the fact that Hachikō had two keepers," Shiozawa said. "To Hachikō the professor was his father, and Yaeko was his mother," Matsui added.


In popular culture[edit]

Hachikō plays an important part in the 1967 children's book Taka-chan and I: A Dog's Journey to Japan.[31]

Hachikō was the subject of the 1987 film Hachikō Monogatari (ハチ公物語, "The Tale of Hachikō")[32] directed by Seijirō Kōyama, which told the story of his life from his birth up until his death and imagined spiritual reunion with his master. Considered a blockbuster success, the film was the last big hit for Japanese film studio Shochiku Kinema Kenkyū-jo.[33][34]

"Jurassic Bark" (2002), episode 7 of season 4 of the animated series Futurama has an extended homage to Hachikō,[35] with Fry discovering the fossilized remains of his dog, Seymour. After Fry was frozen, Seymour is shown to have waited for Fry to return for 12 years outside Panucci's Pizza, where Fry worked, never disobeying his master's last command to wait for him.

Hachikō is also the subject of a 2004 children's book entitled Hachikō: The True Story of a Loyal Dog, written by Pamela S. Turner and illustrated by Yan Nascimbene.[36] Another children's book, a short novel for readers of all ages called Hachiko Waits, written by Lesléa Newman[37] and illustrated by Machiyo Kodaira, was published by Henry Holt & Co. in 2004. Another illustrated book about the faithful dog is Hachikō: The Dog that Waited, by Catalan author Lluís Prats and Polish illustrator Zuzanna Celej, published in 2022.

In the Japanese manga One Piece, there is a similar story with a dog named Shushu.[38]

In the video game The World Ends with You (2007), the Hachikō statue is featured, its legend referenced on several occasions. The location of the statue plays an important role in the narrative of the game. The statue is featured again in the sequel, NEO: The World Ends With You (2021).

Hachi: A Dog's Tale,[39] released in August 2009, is an American movie starring actor Richard Gere, directed by Lasse Hallström, about Hachikō and his relationship with an American professor & his family following the same basic story, but a little different, for example Hachiko was a gift to professor Ueno, this part is entirely different in the American version.[40] The movie was filmed in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, primarily in and around the Woonsocket Depot Square area and also featured Joan Allen and Jason Alexander. The role of Hachi was played by three Akitas – Leyla, Chico and Forrest. Mark Harden describes how he and his team trained the three dogs in the book, "Animal Stars: Behind the Scenes with Your Favorite Animal Actors."[41] After the movie was completed, Harden adopted Chico.

The 2015 Telugu film Tommy was based on the story of Hachikō.[42]

Similar cases[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Hachiko: The Akita Who Became a Symbol of Loyalty". easypetmd.com. Archived from the original on February 22, 2019. Retrieved July 25, 2016.
  2. ^ "A Tale of Unbound Loyalty: Hachikō, the Dog Who Waited for 9 Years for His Master's Return". Unbelievable-Facts.com. May 2013. Retrieved March 1, 2014.
  3. ^ "Hollywood the latest to fall for tale of Hachiko". The Japan Times. Kyodo News. June 25, 2009. Retrieved September 25, 2014.
  4. ^ "Kō (公)". Kotobank.jp (in Japanese). 人や動物の名前に付けて,親しみ,あるいはやや軽んずる気持ちを表す。
  5. ^ Thangham, Chris V. (August 17, 2007). "Dog faithfully awaits return of his master for past 11 years". Digital Journal. Archived from the original on November 3, 2013. Retrieved July 8, 2008.
  6. ^ Bouyet, Barbara. Akita, Treasure of Japan, Volume II. Hong Kong: Magnum Publishing, 2002, p. 5. ISBN 0-9716146-0-1. Accessed via Google Books on April 18, 2010.
  7. ^ Skabelund, Aaron Herald (September 23, 2011). "Canine Imperialism". berfrois.com. Berfrois. Retrieved October 28, 2011.
  8. ^ "Hollywood the latest to fall for tale of Hachiko," The Japan Times, June 25, 2009
  9. ^ "Mystery solved in death of legendary Japanese dog". news.yahoo.com. Archived from the original on March 5, 2011. Retrieved October 2, 2015.
  10. ^ "Worms, not skewer, did in Hachiko". The Japan Times. March 4, 2011.
  11. ^ Opening of the completely refurbished Japan Gallery of National Museum of Nature and Science "In addition to the best-loved specimens of the previous permanent exhibitions, such as the faithful dog Hachikō, the Antarctic explorer dog Jiro and Futabasaurus suzukii, a plesiosaurus native to Japan, the new exhibits feature a wide array of newly displayed items." 2007 The National Science Museum, Tokyo. Accessed November 13, 2007
  12. ^ Kimura, Tatsuo. "A History Of The Akita Dog". Akita Learning Center. Retrieved May 6, 2011.
  13. ^ "Stuffed body of Hachiko (& other notable canines)". pinktentacle.com. August 17, 2009. Retrieved July 30, 2013.
  14. ^ Drazen, Patrick (2011). A Gathering of Spirits: Japan's Ghost Story Tradition: from Folklore and Kabuki to Anime and Manga. iUniverse. p. 101. ISBN 978-1462029426. Aoyama Cemetery contains a memorial to Hachiko on the site of Professor Ueno's grave. Some of Hachiko's bones are reportedly buried there, but in fact, Hachiko can still be seen – stuffed, in the National Science Museum.
  15. ^ Newman, Lesléa. Hachiko Waits. Macmillan, 2004. 91. Retrieved from Google Books on February 25, 2011. ISBN 978-0-8050-7336-2.
  16. ^ "Visit Hachiko's Hometown of Odate, Akita!". thegate12.com. December 12, 2018. Retrieved December 24, 2020.
  17. ^ "Akita Dog Museum". visitakita.com. Archived from the original on January 25, 2021. Retrieved December 24, 2020.
  18. ^ "Akita Dog Museum in Odate". japantravel.com. July 23, 2013. Retrieved December 24, 2020.
  19. ^ "Sights ~ Hachikō statue ~ Woonsocket". iheartrhody.com. Retrieved December 24, 2020.
  20. ^ "Hachiko, Japan's most loyal dog, finally reunited with owner in heartwarming new statue in Tokyo". rocketnews24.com. February 11, 2015. Retrieved August 2, 2015.
  21. ^ "Hachiko Statue University of Tokyo – Japan Tourism Guide and Travel Map". JapanTravel. Retrieved April 9, 2018.
  22. ^ American Kennel Club (listed author): Complete Dog Book: The Photograph, History, and Official Standard of Every Breed Admitted to AKC Registration, and the Selection, Training, Breeding, Care, and Feeding of Pure-bred Dogs, Howell Book House, 1985, p. 269. ISBN 0-87605-463-7.
  23. ^ Ruthven Tremain, The Animals' Who's Who: 1,146 Celebrated Animals in History, Popular Culture, Literature, & Lore, Scribner, 1984, p. 105. ISBN 0-684-17621-1. Accessed via Google Books August 21, 2008.
  24. ^ T.R. Reid (June 3, 1994). "Japan's Hero Barks from Beyond the Grave". Washington Post. Retrieved November 13, 2018.
  25. ^ "Shibuya City / Shibuya Folk and Literary Shirane Memorial Museum". Archived from the original on July 5, 2015.
  26. ^ Ohmoro, Kazuya (June 16, 2012). "Shibuya museum showcases last photo of loyal pooch Hachiko". The Asahi Shimbun. Archived from the original on July 18, 2012.
  27. ^ The Yomiuri Shimbun (November 5, 2015). "Rare photograph shows Hachiko relaxing alone at Shibuya Station". Yomiuri Shimbun. Archived from the original on November 14, 2015. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  28. ^ "Remains of Hachiko master's wife reinterred with husband, famously loyal dog". Mainichi Daily News. May 20, 2016. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
  29. ^ "In love and death". The Nation. Archived from the original on April 10, 2018. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
  30. ^ "もうひとつの「ハチ公」物語 - 読む・考える・書く". 読む・考える・書く (in Japanese). May 20, 2016. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
  31. ^ Lifton, Betty Jean; Hosoe, Eikoh, Taka-chan and I: A Dog's Journey to Japan, The New York Review of Books, 1967.
  32. ^ Hachikō Monogatari at IMDb Edit this at Wikidata.
  33. ^ Anne Tereska Ciecko, Contemporary Asian Cinema: Popular Culture in a Global Frame, Berg Publishers, 2006, pp. 194–195. ISBN 1-84520-237-6. Accessed via Google Books August 21, 2008.
  34. ^ Company credits for Hachikō monogatari (1987) from Internet Movie Database
  35. ^ Futurama Live! Post-Show w/ Billy West, Maurice LaMarche, Matt Groening and more!. YouTube. September 6, 2013. Retrieved October 2, 2015.[dead YouTube link]
  36. ^ Publishers Weekly Reviewed on: 05/17/2004 accessed via the internet on October 1, 2013
  37. ^ Hachiko Waits Archived 2015-09-29 at the Wayback Machine the various editions of the book on author's website accessed October 1, 2013
  38. ^ Buggy the Clown Versus!! Bagī Kaizoku-Dan (Versus!! バギー海賊団) ISBN 4-08-872544-1
  39. ^ Hachiko: A Dog's Story at IMDb Edit this at Wikidata
  40. ^ Behind the film: "Hachi: A Dog's Tale" Vicki Shigekuni Wong accessed online October 1, 2013
  41. ^ Ganzert, Robin; Anderson, Allen; Anderson, Linda; Becker (Foreword), Marty (Foreword) (2014). Animal Stars: Behind the Scenes with Your Favorite Animal Actors (Hardcover) (1st ed.). New World Library. pp. 296 pages. ISBN 978-1608682638. Retrieved November 20, 2015.
  42. ^ "Tommy Telugu Movie Review, Rating". APHerald [Andhra Pradesh Herald]. Retrieved October 10, 2020.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

  • Skabelund, Aaron Herald (September 23, 2011). "Canine Imperialism". Berfrois. Retrieved October 28, 2011.