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How long did Hachiko wait for his owner? By Raga Akena, VA

Updated: Jan 30, 2021

Have you ever waited for a long time, like years? Well, a Japanese Akita dog cherished his loyalty owner, Hidesaburō Ueno, for whom he continued to wait for over nine years following Ueno's death. Hachiko the dog was born on a farm in 1923 and was later adopted by a professor of agriculture at the University of Tokyo – Hidesaburo Ueno. Both fell into a daily routine where Ueno and Hachi would walk together to the Shibuya train station, where Ueno would pet Hachiko goodbye before getting on the train to work.

This routine continued for several years until one day, tragedy ensued. Ueno never came home from work as he underwent a brain hemorrhage and died. Of course, Hachiko had no idea that this happened, so the loyal dog remained to wait for his owner’s return. Every day like clockwork, when the train would appear, so would Hachiko searching for Ueno.

Hachiko never gave up and still continued to wait for Ueno over 9 years. Sorrowfully, on March 8, 1935, Hachiko was found in the morning deceased due to natural causes. His body was taken to the train station’s baggage room which was one of his favorite hangouts. Hachiko was then photographed, then surrounded by Ueno’s wife, Yaeko, as well as staff members at the station. Yoshizo Osawa, one of the staff members, gifted the photo of Hachiko to one of his daughters. She recalled that her dad loved dogs and would often tell her about Hachiko and how he’d come daily to the station where staff would happily share their lunches with him.

Hachiko’s body was preserved and kept at the National Science Museum of Japan in Tokyo. A bronze statue of Hachiko was erected outside the Shibuya Station as a tribute to the dog, however, the statue got destroyed in World War II. In the exact same spot in 1948 at the end of the war, a new one replaced it and it remains there to this day. The spot has become a popular and beloved neighborhood park.

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