A natural connection is the13-Dog Statue at the entrance of Tokyo Tower, erected by Japan Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in 1959. An incredible story goes behind it: 13 sled dogs (Sakhalin huskies) were left behind in Antarctica by a Japanese research expedition in 1958 due to an emergency evacuation. Almost a year later a subsequent expedition arrived and found two of the dogs still alive! This true story probably inspired the Disney movie Eight Below.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Dogs are no doubt man's best friends. During my visit of the US Air Force Museum, this dog with a parachute on his back caught my attention. This small exhibit honors "Vittles," the forgotten dog hero of the 1948-49 Berlin airlift. Vittles accompanied American planes on 131 missions to deliver aid behind the Iron Curtain.
Our next dog hero is a Japanese. Before going to Tokyo, visiting Hachikō statue at Shibuya station was already on my list. I learned about the touching story of this faithful dog from Chris Marker's genius documentary Sans Soleil. Hachikō statue is a very popular meeting spot. When I found Mr. Hachikō by the station one night, I was surprised to see how small he appears to be and how he was buried by the crowds around.