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Mystery solved in death of legendary Japanese dog Hachiko

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I think Hachiko stayed in front of Shibuya station only because everyone was feeding him yakitori all the time.

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eigokun your comment reflects your ignorance about mammal behaviour, or more specifically canine psychology.

Because a dog would never hang around somewhere because they are being fed there. That's just unheard of.

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It's true Pavlovian law confirms that canines settles in a place where they find yakitori.

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What I love about this story is that someone obviously thought it would be A-OK to feed STICKS OF YAKITORI to a dog. At least that wasn't what killed him.

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eigokun

It's true Pavlovian law confirms that canines settles in a place where they find yakitori

.

Yes. True. However canines ( like most mammals) are pack animals that live in communities where they establish complex relationships within the grouo, and demonstrate the capacity to develop emotional bonds that supercede food sources. Hachiko is not the only canine ( nor mammal) who demonstrates loyalty in spite of separation and death. It is a fascinating component of animal psychology. That is what this story is about.

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Emotional bonds don`t supercede food sources. Never have. Basic Maslow.

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Phew. Now I can sleep at night.

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I'm going to go hang out there when I come for an R & R from Iraq, maybe my run-away wife will be there waiting for me...

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eigokun. It is precisely this kind of bland negativity that is undermining Japanese society. Why would it be so impossible to believe that one creature could care enough about another to demonstrate such devotion. I think the answer rests in the fact that few modern people can imagine giving that kind of devotion to anything. Modern humans are a spoiled, gadget entranced lot often too selfabsorbed to notice much of anything outside their own desires.

That is why stories like Hachiko are treasures. They remind us of the potential in people and animals to show consideration, love and devotion to others. Obviously inspiring enough to build statues and endure as a story until this day. I wonder what stories the current generation will have and will our only statues be to the keitai or portable game device.

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miamum. see above to eigokun. Another example of the romanceless and unimaginative and selfabsorbed current generation.

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"They remind us of the potential in people and animals to show consideration, love and devotion to others." and also just how damn good a yakitori is, especially on a cold day.

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Back in the 1930s I imagine most Japanese dogs died of filaria (heartworm, passed on by mosquito bites). Today there are very effective methods of keeping this illness at bay, and this has probably doubled or more the average lifespan of Japanese dogs.

As for the philistines who claim that Hachiko only went to the station to get yakitori... you know nothing about dogs.

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Folks, humans if food isnt readily available will return to a place where there is a chance of finding something, aint rocket science.

But its clear to me some posters here have never owned a dog, great companions & extremely loyal, even to bad owners, my trigger even tho he is blind now bolts like lightning to meet me every time I come home even tho he bounces off trees & schrubs & a couple times landed in the pond on the way!

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Cleo. Well said.

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"Hachiko" has inspired both people and film producers, it can be used to educate people over their daily activities. I hope I can do a good story or film from "Hachiko" story in reality. A dog is a faithful member to his or her master, we all know. Japanese people love dogs more than other counterparts ....

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eigokun. It is precisely this kind of bland negativity that is undermining Japanese society. Why would it be so impossible to believe that one creature could care enough about another to demonstrate such devotion.

When did "reality" become synonymous with "bland negativity"?

Dogs like chicken. Who'd have thunk it?

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Hachiko was considered such a model of devotion that his organs were preserved when he died in 1935.

Model of devotion = preserve organs ... I'm sorry, this logic does not compute.

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Cancer, worms and a perforated stomach.......did they miss anything?

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Isn't the actual dog stuffed and in some museum?

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I'm waiting for somebody to post a comment criticizing Japanese scientists for wasting money and researching something so trivial.

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It kind of makes me mad that he had sticks in his stomach, even if that wasn't what killed him. Why didn't they take the meat off of it first? Poor thing. Anyway, this story always makes me tear up. I love it.

And um, he was going to the station just fine on his own before people started feeding him, wasn't he? Why is it so hard to believe that he went to wait? Dogs are pretty amazing.

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"When did "reality" become synonymous with "bland negativity"?"

Were you there? Did you see the dog coming only for food? What makes you discount the reports of people who were there in favor of your conclusion? And why discount the volumes of evidence in this world that suggests that dogs are capable of such devotion on an emotional level?

After all what gives humans the right to believe that we are the only creatures in the world with feelings, emotions or capable of caring?

Reality? Sounds like your own definition of reality and not a representation of the real world. I for one will take the voice of the generation who saw the dog's behavior over that of nay sayers invoking unfounded limitations on the behavior of animals they have never observed.

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i love hachiko, and that movie made me cry. to bad my former spouse was not the same.

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To those who rubbish the fact that he was waiting for his master, if you knew more about the loyalty of canines and the documented history of similar events you woudl say different.

There are many similar stories over the last century in different countries and well documented.

For a very up to date story that shows the close bond of dogs to humans there is the recent story of British soldier Liam Thusker and his dog theo.

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I for one will take the voice of the generation who saw the dog's behavior over that of nay sayers invoking unfounded limitations on the behavior of animals they have never observed.

You mean the people that saw him coming for the yakitori or those feeding it to him?

After all what gives humans the right to believe that we are the only creatures in the world with feelings, emotions or capable of caring?

Laying it on a bit thick there, don't you think?

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@tko- I agree with you but you are being a bit melodramatic. Its not beyond the realm of possibility that the naysayers are correct. I have owned dogs all my life and unless Hachi was feral and starving, he did NOT return for the chicken. Now a CAT on the other hand...

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"You mean the people that saw him coming for the yakitori or those feeding it to him?"

This report is from the very end of the dog's life. Many people reported that the dog came and patiently waited for its master for years. There is no mention of people feeding the dog until much later. So again, what are you basing your conclusion on? You were not there and the reports of people who were there say the dog was waiting for his master.

I agree with Cleo, those of you posting these conclusions that it was all about the food must never have owned a loyal pet. Because while animals can be motivated by food, it is not the sole motivation for dogs to follow a given behavior. It is cynical to say it is. And that is what I take the most issue with.

"Laying it on a bit thick there, don't you think?"

Not in the least. It is extremely arrogant of humanity to think we are the only entities that feel emotions, loyalty, love or devotion. Especially when there is ample evidence to the contrary.

Just because you are too cynical to see something positive in this story, does not mean the story is wrong or untrue. It means you are simply too cynical to see it.

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Was the dog owner a Japanese? Did Richard Gere play the owner in the movie? I'm a little confused.

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The Richard Gere movie changed the location and time(americanized the story).

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It is extremely arrogant of humanity to think we are the only entities that feel emotions, loyalty, love or devotion. Especially when there is ample evidence to the contrary.

Are you auditioning for Juilliard or what? You're talking about a dog.

Just because you are too cynical to see something positive in this story, does not mean the story is wrong or untrue.

I never said the story was untrue; he was being fed and there were two bad movies made about it.

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Greyfriars Bobby, who remained on his master's grave for 14 years.

Old Shep, who waited six years for his dead master to return.

Dorado a guide dog who despite being unleashed to allow him to escape, stayed with his blind master and guided him out of the WTC on 9/11.

Heidi, who scrambled down a 500ft drop to reach her master and stayed with his body for two days until rescue came.

Buddy, who spent two weeks searching for help when his master died suddenly.

Bobby, who walked 2,800 miles home after getting lost on a family trip.

And many, many more, including the guide dogs, therapy dogs, search-and-rescue dogs and ordinary family pets whose joy in life comes from serving their master. Not from chicken.

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You're talking about a dog.

That's right. Do you know anything about dogs?

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Hachiko was considered such a model of devotion that his organs were preserved when he died in 1935.

Not how I want to go.

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tknoid2. As eloquent as you may be, your views on Japanese society is consistently pessimistic/negative/angry in every topic I happen to notice and I think it shows your frame of mind towards Japan more than anything IMO.

Cleo. I once went up a snowy hill with my grandfather's dog in my early years. And when I tried to slide down on a sleigh, she grabbed me each time thinking I was falling off. Clearly an instinct to spoil the ride rather than being a Samaritan friend. >:/

Anyways, sorry if I offended anyone for sounding too cynical :/

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As for the philistines who claim that Hachiko only went to the station to get yakitori... you know nothing about dogs

You mean they also like dora-yaki, right?

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Not how I want to go.

Don't hang around Shibuya Station for 10 years eating yakitori and getting bitten by mozzies, and you should be OK.

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And when I tried to slide down on a sleigh, she grabbed me each time thinking I was falling off. Clearly an instinct to spoil the ride rather than being a Samaritan friend.

Or jealousy, perhaps?

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Greyfriars Bobby, who remained on his master's grave for 14 years.

You mean the dog that was being fed by the restaurant next to the graveyard?

You're right; that is very similar to Hachiko's story.

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You mean the dog that was being fed by the restaurant next to the graveyard?

No, I mean the dog who was repeatedly driven out of the graveyard (because dogs weren't allowed) but came back again and again so that eventually the curator of the graveyard took pity and started to feed him. As his story became know others also provided food. Sad that some people know nothing (don't want to know?) about Man's Best Friend.

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Zenny, you are so observant! I thought they were speaking in Japanese. Thanks for reminding me. It was a great movie!

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I still prefer the 1987 Movie though. Not seen many remakes that improve on the original movies.

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Yes, the one that was being fed by the restaurant daily.

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And many, many more, including the guide dogs, therapy dogs, search-and- rescue dogs and ordinary family pets whose joy in life comes from serving their master. Not from chicken.

You'll NEVER hear of any cat doing anything for anybody.It's always dogs. I say this puts dog in clear favor of cats.

Re: Hachi

Great story, but the movie with Gere sucked.

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Great story, but the movie with Gere sucked.

The Richard Gere Hamutaro movie on the other hand . . .

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That Gere Hamutaro movie is to be produced by Sutajio Gerbily I hear.

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It seems there is a broad distribution of individuals in any population, whether it be dogs or posters on this site.

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re: dogs vs cats

The way a dog thinks: You feed me, pet me, give me a soft, warm bed to sleep on and tend to my every need. You must be a god. I adore you.

The way a cat thinks: You feed me, pet me, give me a soft, warm bed to sleep on and tend to my every need. I must be a god. Adore me.

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Cats are definitely better than dogs. Some people think dogs being devoted is a good thing - to me it's like having an annoying little brother that won't go away, or a really needy girlfriend. Cats all the way for me.

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The way a dog thinks: You feed me, pet me, give me a soft, warm bed to sleep on and tend to my every need. You must be a god. I adore you.

The way a cat thinks: You feed me, pet me, give me a soft, warm bed to sleep on and tend to my every need. I must be a god. Adore me. ................................................

man is a dog, woman is a cat. No wonder they fight.

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A heartwarming story, and truly a great dog by the sounds of it, but 'decades of scientific research' and a statue made to honor it? Come on! This society all too often does this in the case of pets and its nationals are victims, but how about working on general human rights a little more, and pet worship a little less?

Zenny11: "Not seen many remakes that improve on the original movies."

Hmmm... torn on this one, and in the case of the movie have never seen either. I have to agree that the tendency is for the original to be better, but not always; I think a key point in that is if the original is a classic or not, and whether or not it's a remake of a story from another country. Recently there are a number of directors who have redone their own movies, or worked on remakes with new directors, which is interesting. The original Shall We Dance was a LOT better than the Hollywood remake, but the Hollywood The Ring was better than the Japanese original (in my opinion).

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man is a dog, woman is a cat. No wonder they fight.

Like something and something; the details escape me at the moment.

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man is a dog, woman is a cat.

It's true that dogs need to be house-trained, while cats instinctively know how to behave.

A cat is fastidious, while a dog will do disgusting things with his mouth and then want to kiss you.

Neither is 'better' than the other. They each bring their own particular charm and magic to a relationship.

Moderator: All readers back on topic please.

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To all dissing the dog, show me a cat doing the same thing for 10 years, even with the promise of grilled chicken treats.

Moderator: Readers, cats are not relevant to this discussion. Please stay on topic.

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die hachiko die and the street vendor gave hachiko chicken laced with poison everyday until the dog developed cancer...now thats an interesting story

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We can all move forward at last, and get on with our lives.

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I didn't know there was a 1987 movie about it. Was it in Japanese, I'll have to look for it in a video store.

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Alphawolf.

Yes, it was a japanese movie.

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The idea of the dog returning to that station to loyally wait for his master to come is a great story of devotion. But the truth is, the dog was simply a stray dog that hung around the station because the locals of the area were feeding him. Animals will stick around anyplace where the humans aren't a threat and the food is plentiful.

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"4 yakitori sticks remained in Hachiko's stomach"

The people who gave that poor dog yakitori still on the sticks should have been severely punished. Too late now.

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Pixilated - You sure know how to pour cold water on a great story of devotion, lol.

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JennyTalwart - Fnarrr Fnarrr! Brilliant!

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For years, Hachiko used to wait at Shibuya train station for its master, a professor at the University of Tokyo. Even after the professor died, the dog went to the station to wait for his master every afternoon for a decade until he finally died.

had inspired to produce

“Hachi: A Dog’s Story,” starring Richard Gere

but, new researches have changed people's attitudes ...

Four yakitori sticks remained in Hachiko’s stomach, but they did not damage his stomach or cause death, said Kazuyuki Uchida, one of veterinarians.

Japanese fans still take some moments to take pictures of Hachiko with their cell phones. But, they may become more devotion ...

“Hachiko certainly had yakitori given by a street vendor at Shibuya,” he said. “But the sticks were unrelated to his death, and the rumor is groundless.”

Most of good stories can be deteriorated or defamed by manipulated fabrication. But people can recognize such fakes soon or later. Hachiko statute is a good lesson now and then for young people and seniors to adjust their moral behaviors.

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I imagine the yakitori sticks weren't ingested due to malice on the part of the human, but because Hachi wolfed it down after grabbing the sticks unexpectedly.

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I see two kind of people in this discussion: the ones who have lived with the loyalty and incondintional friendship of a dog, and the ones who don't.

I am the owner of three French Bulldogs, and I know if they have to give up their lives to save mine, they will. And when I go away for a few hours, they miss me as if I had stayed out for days. And they wait for me for hours and days, patiently, by the gate to our garden until they hear the sound of the car's engine, or see me. So I know that this devotion Hackiko had for his owner is true. That's what matters to me, if you don't have a dog and you say that Hachiko was there only for food, then you know nothing about true friendship.

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it saddens me to see almost total negativity. we all need heroes! be they human or animal. hachiko-chan is a hero. what is evident also is that most comments on this page are non japanese. get a life people

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Seems yakitori sticks are kind of long to be swallowed whole or even if broken in half. I wonder how long they were in his stomach, it seems stomach acid would have deteriorated them in about a month if they didn't puncture the intestinal tract.

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@LostinNagoya: well said!

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BBQbugyou - LOL!!

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"what is evident also is that most comments on this page are non japanese"- What does that absolutely insane comment have to do with anything? "we all need heroes!get a life people"- It would stand to reason that the people who "NEED" a hero are the ones that "NEED" to "get a life". The duality of those 2 statements is absurd. I do believe Hachi was there for his owner just to make the additional point that your comments were in no way relevant to this discussion.

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Japanese people love dogs more than other counterparts ....

That's an interesting conclusion to draw. May I draw your attention to what happens to the thousands of unwanted dogs in this country? How many stray dogs have you adopted? (Me: 2, and 3 cats.)

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The Japanese military and the right wing used Hachiko to stir up nationalism in Japan in the 1930's. But I do believe most of the story about Hachiko, especially his devotion to his owner is true.

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Such a beautiful and loyal Akita ken, Hachiko...why didn't the professor family keep the dog instead of giving it away after his death? Because of circumstances at that time? The poor dog had to escape routinely to get to Shibuya station and waited for his master.

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Pixilated, given that there is absolutely nothing in your statement that even rings of truth, I'm surprised your post is even still here.

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Hachi the stray is actually a fairly popular rumor you hear from young locals time to time tho (if you spend any time with them). But it's only a rumor and the fact remains that 1) He indeed did show up in the morning and evening every day. 2) And his appearance matches the time professor commuted to and from work. 3) And this was his daily task years before becoming famous through news (people started giving treats only after this). So it's easily disproved.

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Can human learn anything from that Dog? Can we love other human like we love that Dog?

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"This denial brought to you by the Japanese Yakitori Chimpira Association."

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conspiracy theory is that N Korea had something to do with his death....

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Wonderful story! Although his story is not unique it is quite special regardless of what the neighsayers speak.

That's an interesting conclusion to draw. May I draw your attention to what happens to the thousands of unwanted dogs in this country? How many stray dogs have you adopted? (Me: 2, and 3 cats.)

I just adopted a dog trying to get a cat now too.

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May I draw your attention to what happens to the thousands of unwanted dogs in this country? How many stray dogs have you adopted?

Adopted 2 stray dogs, rescued and rehomed another dozen or so (I've lost count). Rescued and rehomed 3 abandoned kittens, adopted one.

trying to get a cat now too.

Plenty of kitties looking for homes here - dubya dubya dubya dot satoya-boshu dot net/keisai/c.htm

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Never find a cat waiting years in the same spot for its dead owner..far too intelligent.

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I just adopted a dog trying to get a cat now too.

I was really only asking the person I quoted, who claimed that Japanese people loved dogs more than people of other countries, which is a ridiculous claim, especially if the person making said claim had never adopted any strays himself, when many of us foreigners living here have.

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If all pet owners were responsible there wouldn't be thousands of unwanted cats and dogs.

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When I was living in Tokyo years ago ,my teacher only taught me about Hachiko. Thanks to the Internet , now I learn that the professor had two dogs ,Hachiko and Pachiko. Pachiko was more intelligent, playful,but its loyalty is next to nothing and its name is used for the famous "Pachinko" industry ( which I liked heaps)in Japan. interesting.

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@sarahsuz25 I was just doing some shameless bragging and not going after you in any way. It has been my dream here to start an animal rescue program.

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@CruzControl

Let me know if you do, I'd love to help! There was a rescue organization in my area for a while that I used to foster kittens for, but after one of the people running (and funding) it died it was hard to keep it going. It's hard to do much as a rescue focused on helping strays because you quickly become overwhelmed by all the people who are looking for a guilt-free way to get rid of their pet. The organization we had here would let people surrender their pets as long as they were willing to pay for its upkeep until it found a new home, but that's hard to enforce.

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If the rumor is true, it's a nice story but becoming a national hero, not a bit exaggerated?

In my country too, a dog was left to die on the grave of his master, he had no statue or film to his glory, but we love dogs, respect their natural ways of living very differently from what is happening in Japan.

We have no hotels, clubs, cafes for dogs, we do not organize nor marriage between dogs, and they're doing very well. Many animals suffer in Tokyo, enclosed in boxes in small apartments, they do not have enough space for humans but many people buy dogs for passing interest or to do as others, by people isolated who are in lack of affection too and they treat them like children by dressing them etc.

Many people do not know how to raise animals, how to give them the minimum requirements, these animals are like toys. To have a dog in Tokyo, I think they need at least a garden or take time at least twice a day to go in park.

All these people who foolishly take pictures of this statue, is it to get noticed? this place best is wellknown for being a place of rendezvous and encounter.

To the left of the statue, 100 meters, below the bridge, there are old homeless people dying in the indiferrence total, they also expect perhaps their families at shibuya station? they may also wait until they die ..

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The yakitori street vendor was not to be lynched gives chicken skewers with sticks?

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You mean the dog that was being fed by the restaurant next to the graveyard?

So, if food was the object, why did the dog insist in sleeping on his master's grave, and not go directly to the restaurant and hang out there?

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