Hachiko’s 81-Year-Old Photo Published

January 13, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. circulate /ˈsɜr kyəˌleɪt/ (v.) – to spread from place to place or from person to person
Example: The report immediately circulated because of the media.

2. garner /ˈgɑr nər/ (v.) – to receive or earn
Example: The new book garnered good reviews after its publication.

3. faithfulness /ˈfeɪθ fəl nɪs/ (n.) – showing continuous loyalty
Example: Many people voted the politician for his faithfulness to his service.

4. fond /fɒnd/ (adj.) – having a liking for something; enthusiastic about
Example: Her mother is fond of collecting stamps.

5. follow in (somebody’s) footsteps /ˈfɒl oʊ ɪn ˈfʊtˌstɛps/ (phrasal v.) – to do the same work as someone else in the past
Example: He followed in his father’s footsteps by becoming a professor.


Read the text below.
A rare photograph of the famous Akita dog Hachiko circulated online and touched many people’s hearts.

On November 5, 2015, the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun published an English article with a photograph of Hachiko waiting for his owner at Shibuya Station. After only a week of publication, the article immediately garnered a great number of online views. By the end of the month, views from the United States and the Philippines reached 47,000 and 19,000, respectively.

Hachiko is known worldwide for his remarkable faithfulness to his owner Hidesaburo Ueno, an agriculture professor at the University of Tokyo. When Ueno was still alive, Hachiko used to accompany him to Shibuya Station and wait for the professor’s return at the end of the day. The pair’s usual routine ended when the professor died of a cerebral hemorrhage in 1925. Hachiko’s daily trips to Shibuya continued for about ten years, not knowing that his master would never be home again.

According to the Yomiuri Shimbun, former bank employee Isamu Yamamoto was the one who took the photo around 1934. That same year, the first statue of Hachiko was created. Until now, the statue stands at Shibuya Station. Yamamoto’s 89-year-old daughter Yoko Imamura said that her father was fond of taking pictures and that the old Hachiko photo is included in his collection.

The Yamamoto family gave the photo to sculptor Takeshi Ando, son of Teru Ando, who created the first Hachiko statue. Takeshi Ando followed in his father’s footsteps by creating a second statue for the loyal dog in front of Shibuya Station.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         What other stories of animals being loyal and faithful have you heard of? Elaborate.
·         Why do you think there are people who become easily attached to their pets?

Discussion B

·         How important is loyalty? Please explain your answer.
·         Would you still trust someone who once became unfaithful? Why or why not?

January 13, 2016