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Hachiko: A Dog's Story of Loyalty in Tokyo

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Uploaded on Sep 8, 2009

Hachiko: A Tale of Loyalty in Tokyo-- Immortalized in a Statue, Dog Who Showed Undying Devotion to Master 80 Years Ago Is Inspiring Human Connections Today
0:01 Teaser
0:06 CBS Evening News Intro
0:31 Backstory
0:54 Story of Hachiko begins
2:06 Richard Gere in "Hachi"
At a crossroad of busy 24/7 Tokyo, half a million people a day hurry by.

But some pause, spending a moment with a dog who is the stuff of mythology, reports CBS News correspondent Barry Petersen.

"His gaze looks lonesome," says 11-year-old Shinsaku, "like he knows his owner may not come back."

His name is Hachiko, who waited every afternoon at the train station for his owner, a professor, who died suddenly in 1925.

But Hachiko didn't understand that his master was gone. So for a decade, until he also died, he lived as a stray so he could come to the station at the same time with the same mission. To wait.

In 1934 a statue was erected for the dog said to embody Japan's sense of loyalty after he became famous from newspaper articles and books.

Tokyo's most famous dog also has a role to play in this modern day city of 13 million - because, if you want to link up with someone here, you just say, 'meet me at Hachiko.'"

Over the decades, many a friendship started here - and many a blind date that led to marriage.

And Hachiko still fuels the popularity of the breed - the Akita - distinctly Japanese with what some say are distinctly Japanese values.

"The Akitas are like Samurai warriors," a breeder explained, "instinctively loyal to the leader of their human family."

Americans will learn Hachiko's story in a Richard Gere movie out later this year, but set in the U.S.

Back in Japan, the paw prints at the nearby train station lead thousands to Hachiko.

A dog who was forever lonely for one more pat on the head, one last moment of his master's love.

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