The tragic yet sweet story of faithful dog Hachiko is infamous in Japan and many parts of the world. One dog’s unflinching love and dedication inspired a statue to be erected in his honor outside Shibuya Station where the real Hachiko once stood.
With a second helping of snow dumped over Tokyo in the late hours of Fundoshi Day, someone took it upon themselves to offer Hachiko with a companion.
Shortly after midnight on 15 February it was announced on the Tokyo MX Twitter account that someone had given Hachiko a straw hat to help bear the winter storm, not unlike the Kasajinzo Japanese folk tale.
“A couple of minutes ago, just after 12:30 ‘Hachiko Jizo-chan’ got an umbrella from a kind person.”
A few hours later, passersby were surprised to see that Hachiko had been given a friend in “Yuki Hachiko” the snow Hachiko statue which stood by his side.
“Hachiko became two dogs lol.”
Yuki-Hachiko could be seen there until the morning as weekend commuters took notice of the new companion.
By the afternoon another surprise came. Apparently Hachiko and Yuki Hachiko were more than just friends. A third puppy appeared behind the new couple.
“So I went to worship Shibuya’s Hachiko (lol) and they became three lol. Check out the back… Dad?”
Yessir, things were indeed looking up for the stoic akita dog. However, this taste of the family life was to be short lived for the Hachiko statue. At the same time the next day:
“[Sad News] Yuki Hachiko… melts.”
Elsewhere on the net, people reacted with a range of emotions from “That made me cry,” to “That was stupid.” Others thought it was “a good way to remind people of Hachiko.”
One Twitter user perhaps summed it up the feelings of those touched best in an imaginary conversation between statue-Hachiko and snow-Hachiko on the morning of 16 February.
Snow Hachiko: Morning.
Hachiko: Nice weather today eh?
Snow Hachiko: YEEeeeaaah…
Hachiko: The snow’s slowly all melting away.
Snow Hachiko: Looks like I’ll be going soon.
Hachiko: Yes it does.
Snow Hachiko: We’ll meet again, in ten or twenty years.
Hachiko: Sure. I’m good at waiting.