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Published on 06.29.2016
"Want to go to Shibuya?"
"Where should we meet?"
Almost everyone living in Tokyo has had this conversation before. When visiting Shibuya, it's customary to meet your friends near the Statue of the dog "Hachiko" in the plaza near Shibuya Station. This custom seems arbitrary, but the story and meaning behind the statue is really quite astounding.
The "Faithful Dog" Hachiko belonged to a man named Hidesaburo Ueno, a professor in the Department of Agriculture at the University of Tokyo in the 1920s. Hachiko would see Professor Ueno off every day in the morning, and often leave home around dusk, to meet him near Shibuya Station on his way home from work at the university. However, one day in May of 1925, Professor Ueno did not come to meet Hachiko at the station. He had suffered a intracranial hemorrhage, and died. On the night of Professor Ueno's wake, it is said that Hachiko walked to the station to meet Professor Ueno's regular train, a practice that he continued until his death in 1935.
Reactions toward Hachiko were negative at first. According to reports, he often suffered abuse from commuters and passerbys. It wasn't until the Tokyo Asahi newspaper published an article about him in 1932, that touched peopels' hearts, and attitudes toward the dog improved.
Today in Japan, Hachiko is a symbol of not only Shibuya, but also represents the ideals of loyalty and friendship, making it fitting place to meet people!
Source: Subtokyo (Youtube)