Hachikō (ハチ公, November 10, 1923 – March 8, 1935) is one of the most famous dogs in Japan (if not the world). He is remembered for his remarkable loyalty to his master, for whom he waited at Shibuya Station in Tokyo for over nine years following the master’s death. During his lifetime, the dog was held up in Japanese culture as an example of loyalty and fidelity. Well after his death, he continues to be remembered in worldwide popular culture, including movies and books. His figure still stands proudly at Shibuya Station today, in the form of a bronze statue.
I snapped this photo of Hachi and friend in 2016. Despite visiting the statue many times over the years, it was the first time for me to see a stray cat being protected by Hachi.
To get into the spirit of The Year of the Dog (inu doshi), the children started off the year with some dog themed craft activities.
In Japan, Rainy Season, known as Tsuyu (梅雨), starts in Late May – Early June and ends in Mid-Late July depending on the region of Japan.
Tsuyu (梅雨) literally means plum rain. It was named this because Japanese plums ripen in this season.
The Rainy Season is known for it’s beautiful Hydrangeas (Ajisai) which come in many colors, the most common being blue, white, pink and purple
Even though it is called the rainy season, it doesn’t actually rain every day.
There is a Japanese tradition to hand-make dolls out of white paper or cloth and hang them outside or by your window to keep the rain away and bring sunny weather.
These dolls are called Teru teru bōzu which literally means “shine shine monk.”
Kodomo no hi (Children’s Day) is celebrated every year in Japan on May 5. On this national holiday, children are honoured for their individual strengths, and happiness is wished upon them. It was originally a celebration for boys, but the holiday was officially changed to celebrate the health and growth of both girls and boys in 1948.
Families fly carp fish-shaped windsocks, or koinobori 🎏, outside their homes to bring luck and good fortune to the children inside. The carp are believed to be strong, spirited fish and are revered for their resilience as they swim upstream and through powerful waterfalls. Koinobori 🎏 symbolise the desire for children to become brave and strong individuals.