Hachiko: The True Story of a Loyal Dog That Waited at Train Station for Deceased Owner

Hachiko story - Hachi waits at train station for deceased owner - Cesar’s Way

Man and his dog–it’s a friendship as old as time. Nothing quite matches the infinite loyalty and unbreakable bond between a dog and his owner. Throughout the years, hundreds of incredibly touching stories have documented the amazing love that dog and man share with each other. None of these stories, however, quite surpass the tale of Hachiko, the dog who continually waited for his owner to return home.

It is no understatement when dogs are called loyal companions. Many loyal dog breeds have been known for patiently waiting for their humans to return, whether it be days, weeks or even months. But the story of Hachiko is by far one of the greatest stories told of a dog that remained loyal to his owner.

Throughout the years, many people have wondered “What is the most loyal dog?” The truth is, all dogs are loyal to their beloved owners. The emotional story of Hachiko the dog clearly reveals the love a dog has for his master. Here is the Hachiko story.

Hachiko dog - full-body photograph - Cesar’s Way
Hachiko waited patiently every day for Hidesaburo Ueno, his owner, at the local train station even after his owner passed away. Source: Wikipedia.

Hachiko: The True Story of a Loyal Dog

The Hachiko real story begins with the lasting bond between Hachiko and his owner, Hidesaburo Ueno. Even though Hachiko lived back in the 20th century, his story has continued to inspire people around the world up to this day. The tale of the Hachiko story has resulted in several Hachiko memorials and even a Hachiko movie that documents the story of the incredible bond that formed between Hachiko and Ueno.

Hachiko was an Akita Inu dog born on a farm in 1923 and later adopted by Hidesaburo Ueno, a professor of agriculture at the University of Tokyo. The two fell into a daily routine: Ueno and Hachiko would walk together to the Shibuya train station, where Ueno would pet Hachiko goodbye before getting on the train to work. Hachiko, who also became known as Hachi, would then spend the day waiting for Ueno to come back. In the meantime, local shopkeepers and station workers would keep an eye on him and often give him treats while he held his vigil for Ueno.

This routine continued for several years until one day, tragedy ensued. Ueno never came home from work, as he suffered a brain hemorrhage and died. Of course, Hachi had no idea about this, so the loyal dog continued to wait for his owner’s return. Every day like clockwork, when the train would appear, so would Hachi, searching for Ueno. Hachi’s fidelity earned him the nickname “the faithful dog.”

Hachiko breed - body of Hachi - Cesar’s Way
The body of Hachi is honored by locals after his passing. Hachikō was an Akita inu breed. Source: Shibuya Folk and Literary Shirane Memorial Museum.

Hachi never gave up hope and continued to wait for more than nine years for his owner to return. Finally, one morning, on March 8, 1935, Hachiko was found dead. It is believed that he died due to natural causes. His body was taken to the train station’s baggage room, a place that had been one of his favorite hangouts. He was then photographed, surrounded by Ueno’s wife, Yaeko, as well as staff members at the station. Yoshizo Osawa, one of the staff members, gifted the photo to one of his daughters, who recalled that her dad loved dogs and would often tell her about how Hachi would come daily to the station, where staff would happily share their lunches with him.

Hachiko Statues Pay Tribute

Although Hachiko’s life ended decades ago, his story continues to live on. After Hachiko’s death, his body was preserved and placed at the National Science Museum of Japan in Tokyo. Additionally, a monument of Hachiko has been placed next to his owner’s tomb in Tokyo’s Aoyama cemetery.

Hachi’s remains tended to by professionals - Cesar’s Way
Hachi’s remains are groomed by professionals. The story of this dog was made into a movie titled Hachi: A Dog’s Tale. Source: Wikimedia.
The Cesar’s Way website also published a story abouta dog that’s been nicknamed the Russian Hachiko.

Because Hachi remained loyal to his owner up until Hachi’s death, a bronze statue of Hachiko was erected outside the Shibuya Station as a tribute to the dog. Unfortunately, this statue was destroyed during World War II. Although the original Hachiko dog statue could not be restored, a new one replaced it in the same exact spot at the end of the war in 1948. The spot has become a popular and beloved neighborhood park where tourists can honor and admire the unconditional love of this loyal dog.

This Hachiko statue isn’t the only memorial that honors this incredible dog. The station entrance closest to the statue was renamed “Hachikō-guchi,” or “The Hachikō Entrance/Exit” in Japanese. Furthermore, one of the train lines was also called the Hachiko Line.

Hachiko dog statue - Cesar’s Way
One Hachiko dog statue is located in Japan. Source: DogHeirs.

In honor of the 80th year of Hachiko’s passing and the 90th anniversary of Hachiko’s owner Ueno’s death, a bronze statue of Hachiko reuniting with Ueno was unveiled on March 8, 2015. The statue was placed outside the University of Tokyo’s agriculture department, where Ueno was a professor.

Hachiko dog statue with owner - Cesar’s Way
Photographed is a Hachiko dog statue with the dog’s owner. Source: Twitter.

The Hachiko Story Lives On

In 2009, a movie was released called Hachi: A Dog’s Tale. This is a film based on the true story of Hachiko’s unconditional love for his owner. Although the Hachiko dog movie may be thought of as heartbreaking, those who have watched it agree that it perfectly captures the extraordinary devotion of a dog for his owner.

The story of the loyal Hachiko continues to be remembered and beloved by people from around the world. It truly displays the love and affection a dog shares with his human.

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