Sunday, August 15, 2010

The loyalty of a dog

In Japan was a dog called Hachiko.

A picture of Hachiko around 1930

In 1924 a professor in the agriculture department at the University of Tokyo took Hachiko as a pet.
Each day when the Professor would go to work, Hachiko would see him out at the front door of the house.
But in the faternoon the dog would walk to the Shibuya train station to meet the Professor and together walk back home.
Somehow the dog always managed to be at the train station in time.
This went on for a year when the Professor died.
He suffered fatally from a cerebral hemorrhage and therefore was not at the train station anymore as of that day.
For the next nine years, Hachiko the dog would go to the train station and waited loyally for his master.
Who obviously never came.

People noticed the dog and found out the story.
They understood what an extremely loyal dog Hachiko was.
In 1932 a story on Hachiko was published in Tokyo’s largest newspaper and he became a national sensation.

His faithfulness to his master's memory impressed the people of Japan as a spirit of family loyalty all should strive to achieve.
Teachers and parents used Hachikō's vigil as an example for children to follow.
A well-known Japanese artist rendered a sculpture of the dog and eventually, Hachiko's legendary faithfulness became a national symbol of loyalty.
This sculpture of Hachiko was erected in April 1934 of course at Shibuya Station where the dog had been coming in vain every afternoon for nine years.
At that time Hachiko was still alive and present at the unveiling of the statue.

The statue of Hachiko at the "Hachiko Exit" of Shibuya Station in Tokyo

He died on March 8, 1935.
His heart was infected by filarial worms.

When the Second World War broke out, the authorities decided that they needed the bronze of Hachiko’s statue.
It was taken from the console and melted.
But the dog was not forgotten after the war had ended.
A group of people created “The Society for Recreating the Hachiko Statue”.
They managed to erect a new monument in 1948 made by the son of the deceased sculptor: Takeshi Ando.
Even today, the statue is a very popular meeting spot.
Each year on April 8, Hachikō's devotion is honored with a solemn ceremony of remembrance at Tokyo's Shibuya railroad station.
Hundreds of dog lovers often turn out to honor his memory and loyalty.

Hachiko exhibited at the National Science Museum in Ueno, Japan.

It is 75 years since Hachiko died.
And the only thing he did was making a walk to the train station every afternoon for nine years.
Hachiko is of course in the heaven for dogs and what he pleasantly sees is long lasting loyalty to him now.
He won’t be forgotten because he expressed and demonstrated a strong emotion.
Was he as we would like ourselves to be?


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

He is one...