Heard about Hachiko? The sculpture of this loyal dog whose memory is living in the heart of every Tokyoite has been one of the most popular spots in Shibuya. Now you can meet him and his beloved Professor Ueno in the campus of the University of Tokyo. Don’t miss the chance of visiting both during your stay.
Never heard about him before? Hachiko is a famous dog well appreciated by every Japanese for his remarkable loyalty and perseverance. He would go to Shibuya station to meet his master, professor Ueno, coming home from his work at University of Tokyo. Unfortunately, one day prof. Ueno passed away and never came back to Shibuya station. Nevertheless, this was not easy to accept for Hachiko and he continued going everyday to Shibuya station waiting for the professor Ueno…during 10 years, until he unfortunately also passed away. Such big heart spirit!
Same was though by many Shibuya commuters who usually met Hachiko, they started to provide food for him…and even built a sculpture for him. Although long time has passed, the story of this wonderful friendship remains at the bottom of the heart of every Tokyoite. Sure, many will be happy to tell you his story, and also you can watch the movie based on it.
(ok, Richard Gere is not exactly Japanese, but neither David Carradine needed to be Chinese for playing at as Kwai Chang Caine at Kung Fu…)
In order to memorize the 80th anniversary of the death of Hachiko, faculty members from the University of Tokyo (the same faculty professor Ueno was teaching at) started a project for funding this new commemorative statue. They could collect about 10 million yen ($83,000) in donations from individuals and companies.
This new statue is located at the Yayoi campus of the University of Tokyo, next to Hongo campus. In Hongo campus you can find other landmarks like Yasuda auditorium and Akamon gate, of which we will talk another day. Both campuses are near to Ueno Park, and if you are around in autumn, don’t miss the chance of visiting Hachiko and professor Ueno with the great views of Ginko trees.
Hachiko in front of Shibuya Station
Hachiko and Professor Ueno at The University of Tokyo