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Remains of Hachiko master's wife reinterred with husband, famously loyal dog

Hachiko (Photo courtesy of Shibuya Folk and Literary Shirane Memorial Museum)
The grave of Hidesaburo Ueno, left, and a shrine to Hachiko are seen in Aoyama Cemetery in Minato Ward, Tokyo. (Mainichi)

The remains of Yaeko Ueno, married to the owner of the famously loyal dog Hachiko, were reinterred with her husband and the dog on May 19 in accordance with her wishes recorded in a recently discovered document.

    Hachiko is said to have waited for his master, Tokyo Imperial University (now the University of Tokyo) professor Hidesaburo Ueno, in front of Shibuya Station every day for some 10 years after Ueno's death. A source connected with the reinterment of Yaeko's remains commented, "This marks a new episode for the loyal dog Hachiko, who has this time brought the couple (Yaeko and Hidesaburo) together in heaven."

    Hidesaburo Ueno died in 1925, and his remains were divided between a temple in his home prefecture of Mie and Aoyama Cemetery in Tokyo. After Hachiko died 10 years later, a shrine to the dog was set up next to Ueno's grave in Tokyo. Due to certain circumstances, Yaeko did not take Ueno's family name. She died in 1961. Her remains were buried at a temple in Tokyo's Taito Ward.

    Two years ago, University of Tokyo professor Sho Shiozawa, 63, found a record indicating Yaeko had wanted to be buried with Ueno. He then obtained the permission of Yaeko's family to have her remains moved. Shiozawa was also involved with the creation of bronze statues of Hachiko and Ueno that were set up on the grounds of the University of Tokyo to commemorate the 80th anniversary of Hachiko's death.

    "By putting the names of both (Hidesaburo and Yaeko) on their grave, we can show future generations the fact that Hachiko had two keepers," Shiozawa said.

    Keita Matsui, the 48-year-old curator at Shibuya Folk and Literary Shirane Memorial Museum, said that Ueno and Yaeko lived in Shibuya Ward, adding, "To Hachiko the professor was his father, and Yaeko was his mother."

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