New information on the death of chūken Hachikō
Hachikō was an Akita Inu who was born in Japan in 1923. He became the pet of Professor Hidesaburō Ueno of the University of Tokyo. For around a year Hachikō would meet his master, at the end of the day, at Shibuya Station.
On 21 May 1925 Prof. Ueno died from a stroke while at the university. For the rest of his life Hachikō continued to make the trip to the train station and wait for his master. Hachikō finally died in 1935.
Many people were inspired by the dog's loyalty and a statue was erected in Hachiko's memory. The story of Hachikō has been told in books and movies, most recently a Hollywood adaptation, Hachiko: A Dog's Story.
After his death, researchers at the University of Tokyo performed an autopsy on Hachikō, concluding that he died from filariasis, caused by roundworms. There were also rumours that Hachikō was killed by a skewer of chicken. Recently Hachikō's organs were re-examined and it was found that he had both heart and lung cancer as well as the previously known worm infection. Professor Hiroyuki Nakayama was quoted as saying, "Heart cancer is rare and was a completely unexpected find. Hachikō had both serious filariasis and cancer, and either one could have caused his death."