Outside one of Tokyo’s main train stations stands a statue of Hachiko, a dog whose true story of loyalty has made him a beloved mascot for generations.
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Hachiko’s 100th birthday is this week. He belonged to a university professor, Hidesaburo Ueno. The faithful hound would wait at Shibuya station for his master to come home every day.
Ueno died unexpectedly in 1925, but Hachiko continued coming to the railway station to wait for his human for nearly 10 years until he passed away in March 1935.
Now, locals and foreigners alike queue up to snap photos with the statue. Hachiko was a Japanese Akita dog, a popular breed with its own museum in Hachiko’s birthplace of Odate.
“I would like my dog to be waiting for me as long a time as he did,” Spanish honeymooner Omar Sanchez, 33, said as he snapped selfies with the statue.
“The story is sweet. And we need nice stories,” said US businessman Daniel Callahan, 62. “Anything that can bring people together is nice.”