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Hachiko "Paw Prints" - internet fabrication?

Smyrna, Georgia
Level Contributor
115 posts
30 reviews
Hachiko "Paw Prints" - internet fabrication?

According to wikipedia, and a fair number of internet pages with nearly identical wording:

"The exact spot where Hachiko waited in the train station is permanently marked with bronze paw-prints and text explaining his loyalty (text in Japanese)."

I went to Shibuya station today and could not find said bronze paw prints. Nor could I find anyone that both spoke english and had any idea what I was talking about when I asked about them. I could find no photographs of them on the internet. All references on the net have nearly the same wording. I suspect it's a fabrication.

Does anyone with a deeper familiarity with this area/station/story have a more definitive answer than my hunch? Do the prints and text exist?

Philadelphia...
Level Contributor
6,700 posts
27 reviews
1. Re: Hachiko "Paw Prints" - internet fabrication?

You saw this picture of the old station in the Wikipedia article? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hachik%C5%8D#/… I wonder if 'the exact spot' still exists.

This was added to Wikipedia by an anonymous person whose IP address is not linked to any other major edits (and none Japan-related). So far as I can tell, the other mentions are more recent, copied from Wikipedia. I wonder if this person mixed together the paw prints leading to the exit with the utility access panels ('manhole covers') picturing Hachiko (many places have manhole covers featuring local attractions--look for them. Here's an article: japanvisitor.com/japanese-culture/manhole-co… ).

Unless an eyewitness replies in the next day or two, I'll delete the reference from Wikipedia.

Edited: 9:13 pm, February 11, 2016
Tokyo, Japan
Level Contributor
24,039 posts
52 reviews
2. Re: Hachiko "Paw Prints" - internet fabrication?

"The exact spot where Hachiko waited in the train station is permanently marked with bronze paw-prints and text explaining his loyalty (text in Japanese)”

The Japanese wikipedia does not write about paw prints. I have never heard of paw prints of Hachiko, and have never seen them in Shibuya, and I think Hachiko did not always wait at the exact one same spot. In any case, Shibuya Station has been rebuilt and refurbished many times.

English version of Wikipedia on Japan is a mix of Miso and Kuso, although in general it should be a good resource for non-Japanese speakers/readers.

Edited: 9:29 pm, February 11, 2016
Tokyo, Japan
Level Contributor
24,039 posts
52 reviews
3. Re: Hachiko "Paw Prints" - internet fabrication?

The underground mall has/had playful paw prints made of tape on its floors:

http://gaku-blog.net/post422.html

Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
272 posts
171 reviews
4. Re: Hachiko "Paw Prints" - internet fabrication?

I have to admit that I too wasted some time last Summer looking for these so-called "bronze paw prints" of Hachiko at Shibuya Station.

Had better success finding the new statue of Hachiko reunited with his Master at The University of Tokyo, than this wild goose chase.

Philadelphia...
Level Contributor
6,700 posts
27 reviews
5. Re: Hachiko "Paw Prints" - internet fabrication?

The paw-print plaque is now gone from Wikipedia https:/…Bronze_statues but I'm sure it will live on elsewhere.

Hermosillo, Mexico
Level Contributor
9 posts
5 reviews
6. Re: Hachiko "Paw Prints" - internet fabrication?

I also spent a lot of time looking for this bronze paws LOL... However, there is a bronze plaque behind Hachiko's statue by the bushes, it is not easy to spot if the bushes are not trimmed. This plaque seems old and is written in both japanese and english explaining Hachiko's life.

Smyrna, Georgia
Level Contributor
115 posts
30 reviews
7. Re: Hachiko "Paw Prints" - internet fabrication?

I talked to a few friends that live in Tokyo that more or less confirmed my suspicion and our findings above. I suspect the whole thing was a fairly subtle and clever hoax.

The new statue at Todai is very nice. The happy reunion scene is a warmer memory to have. It's also way less crowded :)

Tokyo, Japan
Level Contributor
24,039 posts
52 reviews
8. Re: Hachiko "Paw Prints" - internet fabrication?

Hachiko's stuffed self is at the National Museum of Science and Nature in Ueno Park, in the same room as a mummified Japanese human in the Japanese section.

mumokuteki.com/blog/…111019ume-0101.jpg

Nice doggie, although he looks a bit waxy now...

9. Re: Hachiko "Paw Prints" - internet fabrication?

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