A Change of Heart

Hachiko made his way along the familiar path to Shibuya Station. When the devoted canine reached his favorite spot he settled in to wait for his master. Hachiko scanned each face of the passengers that rushed about the station.

Shibuya Station 1Shibuya Station in the Taisho and Pre-war Showa eras (1912-1945)

As Professor Ueno of the University of Tokyo stepped from the train Hachiko rushed to his side. His owner greeted Hachiko with a warm, affectionate hug and the two headed home. It was a ritual they followed daily until…

One day the professor didn’t get off the train. Hachiko was frightened and confused.  There was no way he could know that the man he loved so deeply had suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and would never come home again. Hachiko could not accept that his beloved master would no longer be at his side. The loyal dog returned to the station at the same time every day and waited … for nine long years.

 Hachiko 2

All the while, commuters who came and went looked down on him with disdain. Even the station workers had no compassion for Hachiko. And then one day in 1932 an article was printed in Asahi Shimbun. The story touched people and soon they came from across the land to help Hachiko, to feed him, bring him treats.

This wonderful, loveable ball of fur didn’t know that life for his Akita friends would also become better. One of Professor Ueno’s students studied their breed and wanted to learn more. So he followed Hachiko home to where the dog lived with his master’s gardener.

Kikuzaboro Kobayashi told the student Hachiko’s story: How the professor, Hidesaburo Ueno, brought Hachiko home one day in 1924 and they became inseparable. The golden-haired dog left home every day at a precise time to wait at the station for his master. They became a familiar sight to the commuters, yet no one gave the pair much thought. This would soon change.

The learner had affection for Hachiko and continued to visit him at the station. He began to write articles about the Akita breed and their strong sense of loyalty. He discovered the Akita could easily disappear because there were only thirty purebreds in existence, which included Hachiko.

 Hachiko 3

Eventually, the story of Hachiko’s loyalty to his master seeped into the heart of the entire country. Hachiko became revered, his story taught in school lessons, a bronze statue erected in his honor, his name whispered in conversations. Hachiko had become a hero, a national symbol.

The beloved Akita passed away on March 8, 1935 of terminal cancer.

 

 May Your Glass Always Be Half Full
_____________________

 Imagine what others in the LBC have to say on today’s subject “touched.”
Anu, Delirious, Maxi, Maria/Gaelikaa, Maria SilverFox, OCD writer, Padmum, Paul, Ramana, Rohit Shackman speaks, The Old Fossil, Will Knott.

 

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About Maxi

Hi … I'm Maxi, a retiree with an addiction. I have quit: raising kids, cleaning house, cooking, doing laundry—there is no end the list—everything is done on "have to." The addiction? Writing to my last breath. blessings ~ maxi
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