This is my respond to Ailsa’s weekly travel theme, which for this week is Symbol.
Hatchico is a symbol of loyalty. Hachico was the dog of a university proffessor in Tokyo. Every day he followed his master to Shibuya train station, where the professor took the train and Hachico got back home, only to go back to the station at the end of the day and wait to welcome his master. Sadly one day the professor died of heart attack while teaching at the university and never came back. However, Hachico went to the station looking for him every single day for the next eleven years until he passed away. The dog became famous and there’s even a movie about his life. Today, there’s a statue of Hachico next to Shibuya train station.
The fox symbolizes Inari’s (god of cereal) messenger in Japanese culture. A lot of temples and shrines dedicated to Inari feature sculptures of foxes. The following pictures are from Fushimi-Inari Taisha shrine complex in Kyoto, where even the votives are in shape of a fox head.