Your starting page for both the American and Japanese Akita Dog information.

Akita Hachiko

Hachiko is probably one of the most famous Akita dogs that has done much to bring the popularity to the Akita breed that it has today. He was a golden-brown Akita Inu that was born on November 10, 1923 on farm in the vicinity of a city Odate in the Akita Prefecture. The dog’s name refers to the fact that he was the eight puppy in the litter – hachi meaning eight, and ko meaning duke.

Since 1924 he was a pet of one Hidesaburo Ueno, a professor in the University of Tokyo’s agriculture department. Since Hachiko became his pet it was traditional for him to wait and greet his beloved master at the train station when he was coming back from his lectures. This tradition lasted for a year, until one day the owner didn’t return. It was reported that he had suffered from cerebral hemorrhage, and subsequently died.

This sad turn of events didn’t deter the faithful dog who would return to the Shibuya train station every day for the next nine years and wait for his master to return from work. People who saw the dog with professor got attached to him and would feed him for long after the professor was gone.

One of the professor students noticed the dog and decided to follow it to his home, where he learned the complete story. The student was at the time making a study of Akitas and Hachiko became one of thirty dogs that entered into the Akita census that the student was putting together. He published a number of articles on the dog, and one of them eventually caught the public’s eye and made Hachiko famous all over the nation.

People were impressed by the dog’s devotion and faithfulness. These qualities made him a powerful symbol, which prompted the erecting of a statue in his likeness that was located in the same station were his vigil endured. The statue was erected in 1934 and Hachiko was present at the event. One year later, the faithful Hachiko was found dead in the street, the cause of death was determined to be cancer.

The statue honoring him was melted for bullets during the World War II, but another one, built by the son of the artist who have built the first one, was built in 1948 and stands to this day reminding us of this incredible dog.

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