As every dog lover knows, once these beautiful creatures give their hearts to a human, their love is steadfast and enduring, no matter what. One dog famed across the world for his loyalty was Hachiko, an Akita born in 1923 in Odate, Japan. Hachiko lived with Hidesaburo Ueno, professor of agriculture at the University of Tokyo, and used to accompany him to and from the Shibuya train station every day. After Ueno’s death in 1925, faithful Hachiko continued to go to the train station and wait for him … and all these years later, his name is still a byword for loyalty.
Hachiko was honored earlier this year with a new statue depicting one of his many joyful reunion scenes with his dad … and another statue of him even acquired a feline friend recently! And now, a rare 80-year-old photograph has emerged, showing him in a relaxed pose at the Shibuya train station.
It was taken in 1934 by the late Isamu Yamamoto, a former bank employee who lived near the station.
Yamamoto’s family discovered the long-hidden photograph while they were cleaning his old house. They then gave it to sculptor Takeshi Ando, who created one of the Hachiko statues. “Hachiko blended in with the area around the station (in the photo) and is just what I saw at that time,” Ando commented. “I have never looked at a photo that caught the atmosphere of Hachiko’s everyday life at that time so well.”
Yamamoto’s oldest surviving daughter, Yoko Imamura, said, “Hachiko is a familiar sight to those living near Shibuya Station. I hope the photo my father took will be preserved carefully.” She added that her father greatly enjoyed taking pictures and that the family were delighted to discover this rare photograph in one of his albums.`
While Hachiko is long gone, his legacy lives on in the many books, films and monuments that have been created to honor his unfailing loyalty. This photograph, which shows him patiently waiting for the human the whom he never forgot, serves to remind us once again of what a truly remarkable creature he was.
Image source: The Japan News