See, he's a very important dog here in Tokyo. A purebred Akita, his story is one of loyalty and faithfulness. But, back up for a bit.
Hachiko's owner was a professor who worked at the University of Tokyo. Every day Hachiko saw him off at their front door and then made his way to Shibuya Station in downtown Tokyo to meet him at his train and walk him home in the early evening. But one day, the professor never did come home, having had a stroke and died while at the University.
But Hachiko waited at the train station, just like every other day.
However, Hachiko was eventually taken in by another family and you might think that the story ends there.
Hachiko continually escaped back to his master's old home, purportedly looking for the professor. Realizing that he wasn't there, the dog made his way back to the train station, parking himself at his usual spot, at the usual time, waiting to meet his master at the end of the day. Though he never saw him, this did not deter Hachiko from trying again and again, innocently hoping that his dear friend would come home.
Other commuters recognized Hachiko and remembered the professor fondly and so started bringing treats and food for Hachiko to enjoy during his daily wait.
And this went on for 10 years.
Hachiko never did see his beloved professor on this earth again but I like to think they are reunited in Heaven now.
Sure you can tell me how that is not theologically sound and honestly, that doesn't interest me as much as this sweet love story between a man and his dog; and I think God cares about that enough to maybe bring them back together again.
I get to pass this statue of Hachiko everyday now, going to and from Shibuya Station.