An Akita named Hachiko has been the subject of many reports and more than one movie. His story of love and loyalty inspire many to give him back the love and respect. This year commemorates the 80th anniversary of his death in 1935, the University of Tokyo installed a statue of him reuniting with his beloved master.
On the 80th anniversary of the death of Hachiko, the famed dog was happily reunited with his owner, in a bronze statue installed on March 8 at the University of Tokyo where the master once taught.
About 500 people gathered for the unveiling ceremony of the statue featuring the beloved canine and his owner, Hidesaburo Ueno (1871-1925), a professor of agricultural engineering.
“They have finally been reunited after 90 years. I am happy for them,” said Mari Toya, 30, a Nagoya restaurant operator, who was among the attendees.
Hachiko died of filarial disease in 1935, 10 years after Ueno's death.
The statue, which depicts Hachiko jumping up to greet Ueno, who is extending his hand to pat the dog, stands about 1.9 meters high and weighs about 280 kilograms. It is located near the main gate of the campus for the university’s Faculty of Agriculture in Tokyo’s Bunkyo Ward.
The university faculty had started the project to bring the Akita breed dog and his owner together in a memorial statue. Faculty members have solicited donations from individuals and companies since last year and collected more than 10 million yen ($83,000).
Hachiko is believed to have patiently waited for his owner’s return from work every day at Tokyo’s Shibuya Station for about 10 years even after Ueno's death.
In commemoration of the daily vigil, a lone statue of Hachiko was erected in front of Shibuya Station in 1934, even while the canine was still alive.
The current Hachiko statue at the station, the second of its kind, was installed in 1948 after the first was melted down for much-needed scrap metal during World War II.
People gather around the bronze statue of Hachiko and his owner, Hidesaburo Ueno, at the University of Tokyo in the capital’s Bunkyo Ward on March 8. (Sayaka Yamaguchi)