Two of Japan’s news networks, the Yomiuri Shimbun and Asahi Shimbun, report that the Shibuya Folk and Literary Shirane Memorial Museum now has on display the last known photograph of  Hachikō, Japan’s most famous dog.

Here’s the said photo:

The story is about the loyal and faithful dog, Hachi, and his owner, Hidesaburō Ueno, a professor of agriculture at the University of Tokyo.

In 1924, professor Ueno took in a golden brown Akita born on a farm near the city of Ōdate, Akita Prefecture, naming him Hachikō.

“Hhachi” means “eight,” in reference to the dog’s birth order in the litter; “kō” means “prince” or “duke.” Hachikō was one of the only 30 purebred Akita remaining at that time in Japan.

Every day, Hachikō greeted the professor at nearby Shibuya Station when he got off the train. This continued until May 1925, when Professor Ueno did not return. The professor suffered from a cerebral hemorrhage and died, never to return to the train station where Hachikō was waiting. Ever the most loyal companion, Hachikō continued waiting at the station, appearing when each train arrived. The faithful dog did this for 10 years, even after Ueno’s death.

On the morning of March 8, 1935, Hachiko was found dead near Shibuya Station. His body was then carried to the station’s baggage room, which had been one of his favorite places to stay in.

A photo of Hachiko’s body was soon taken in the baggage room. It was published in the Yamato Shimbun the next day. It is this very photo from the Yamato Shimbun that is currently publicly displayed by the Shibuya Folk and Literary Shirane Memorial Museum.

Hachikō’s stuffed and mounted remains are kept at the National Science Museum of Japan in Ueno, Tokyo. His grave is in the Aoyama cemetery in Minatoku, Tokyo.

Should you wish to pay your respects to this inspiring dog, you may also visit Hachiko’s online grave.

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Vincent Dioquino

Vincent Dioquino

Vince Dioquino is a poet and a freelance writer. He likes travelling and discovering things. When not writing, he can be usually be found drinking, smoking and skateboarding around the metro, looking for inspiration and images for his poetry. He fronts spoken word/rapmetal band Sandiwa.