Hachiko the Akita Dog

 In Fauna

You may have heard the story of Hachiko, the faithful dog. It is easy to look up Hachiko’s touching story if you are interested. Hachiko’s legendary faithfulness has become a national symbol of loyalty in Japan. You can even find a bronze statue of him at the Shibuya Station in Tokyo.

When I first saw Hachiko at the National Museum of Nature and Science, I thought I am looking at a fake mock-up of him. Maybe because I am always attracted to the eyes and a pair of soulless eyes makes a big difference in authenticity to me. As I start to notice the details, something just feels so real about the model. After some research, I came upon the term “Taxidermy”.

Taxidermy is the art of preparing and preserving the skins of animals, and of stuffing and mounting them in lifelike form.

What we are seeing here is the real fur and skin of Hachiko. Apart from the glass eyes, almost everything else is real.

I am astonished to say the least. I didn’t know about this kind of preservation method before.

At the rate species are disappearing from the planet, wouldn’t it be sad that future generations can only see animals in the museum. It is one thing to say that these are real animals on display, it is another to see a real living animal in front of you.

Nobody can recreate the soul behind those eyes, nor the love and loyalty displayed by an affectionate soul such as Hachiko.

Life is not only skin-deep, it is much more than that.

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