Hachiko's story doesn't end well: He gets stuffed

5:30 PM on 08.17.2009 // Dale North

Surely you all know the wonderful story of Hachiko the Dog, the Akita dog that waited forever for his master and was eventually immortalized in statue form in Shibuya. Sweet, to be sure, but the story does not end well, and I found out the hard way: by coming across Hachiko's dead body.

I toured Tokyo's artsy-fartsy Ueno district some time ago and came across poor Hachiko in the National Museum of Nature and Science. He looks...rough, pardon the pun. Now, I'm not a taxidermy expert or anything, but you imagine the poor guy being a bit cuter. I get that Hachiko is a national icon and treasure, and that mounting and stuffing him made sense, but it's just hard to see the ol' boy stuffed? That's his reward for loyalty?

My original plan was to drop this sad surprise on our own Colette Bennett next month on a trip to Tokyo, but Pink Tentacle ruined it. They have pictures of Hachiko and other famous Japanese dogs in stuffed form. Sadly, Hachiko is the best looking of them all. I love his face in the picture above -- such a sly look.

Dale North, Associate Editor
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