Renowned throughout Japan, the loyal dog Hachiko also has achieved a high degree of worldwide fame. However, the fact that his guardian was a professor at the University of Tokyo’s Faculty of Agriculture has remained largely unknown.
Wanting to change this unfortunate lack of information for the better, a group of volunteers including Professor Masaki Ichinose (Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences) embarked upon the “Todai Hachiko Monogatari (UTokyo Hachiko Story)” Project in 2015, the 80th (hachi-juu nen) anniversary of Hachiko’s passing. This initiative crossed over boundaries, bringing together like-minded people from both within and outside the University. Their support culminated in a statue carved by sculptor Tsutomu Ueda that is brimming with vitality and emotion. The statue was revealed to the public on March 8th, 2015, exactly 80 years since the day of Hachiko’s passing.
While the Hachiko in Shibuya remains alone, the Hachiko at UTokyo expresses profound joy at being reunited with his beloved guardian after 90 years of separation. The time when Professor Ueno went home after conducting his agricultural civil engineering research was likely at night. Perhaps that’s why the scene depicted in this statue seems so real against the backdrop of the evening light.
* This text was originally printed in Tansei 31 (Japanese language only).