“Hachi Begins his Daily Routine”— Hachiko Snapshot #9: The Truth Behind the Myths

Hachi greets the Professor at train station

As soon as Hachi’s health improved in July 1924, his “job” began. 

Professor Ueno, an accomplished man in his own right, wore many hats. While going to the Komaba campus to teach, on foot, he also went to the Agriculture Ministry’s office and to the Agriculture Ministry’s Agriculture Experiment Station, taking a train. 

There, Hachi accompanied Professor Ueno to Shibuya Station each work day and saw him off. Afterwards, Hachi went home.

An Unforgettable Bond is Formed

Hachi and the Professor at train station

Rain or snow, Hachi faithfully returned to the station to greet his beloved companion at the end of each day. Their routine provided constant comfort and unwavering friendship to the other.

At that time, in Japan, it was legal to have dogs walk free without a leash. This blissful period was the happiest time for young Hachi and Professor Ueno, and set the stage for the devastating event to come. They were inseparable.

The loyal Akita was only one and one half years old in May of 1925. He would have no idea that his idyllic life was to abruptly change.

Who would believe a frail puppy would have the strength to capture the hearts of an entire nation…then the world?

In each Hachiko Snapshot, you can follow Hachi’s incredible journey from sickly puppy to worldwide icon. On the 14th of each month, his birthday – right here on the blog


Author Mayumi Itoh is considered the “official biographer” of Hachiko. Mayumi is a former Professor of Political Science at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and has previously taught at Princeton University and Queens College, City University of New York. She currently teaches haiku writing at Princeton University.

Mayumi is best known to Hachi friends for Hachiko: Solving Twenty Mysteries about the Most Famous Dog in Japan.