Tokyo, officially Tokyo Metropolis, is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Located on the eastern side of the main island Honshū, Tokyo is unique among the prefectures, providing certain municipal services characteristic of a city, as defined by Japanese law.
The twenty-three special wards of Tokyo, although each administratively a city in its own right, constitute the area often incorrectly considered to be the "city" of Tokyo and, if they were a city, would collectively be one of the largest cities in the world with a total population of over 8 million people. The total population of the prefecture exceeds 12 million.
Hachikō, known in Japanesechūken Hachikō, was an Akita dog born in the city of Odate, Akita Prefecture remembered for his loyalty to his master. In 1924, Hachikō was brought to Tokyo by his owner, Hidesamurō Ueno, a professor in the agriculture department at the University of Tokyo. During his owner's life, Hachikō saw him off from the front door and greeted him at the end of the day at the nearby Shibuya Station. Even after Ueno's death in May 1925, Hachikō returned every day to the station to wait for him. Hachikō's devotion to his lost master moved those around him, who nicknamed him "faithful dog". Others at the station initially thought he was waiting for something else or roaming around, but later realized he was waiting for his dead owner. This continued for 10 years, with Hachikō appearing only in the evening time, precisely when the train was due at the station. That same year, another of Ueno's former students (who had become something of an expert on Akitas) saw the dog at the station and followed him to the Kobayashi home where he learned the history of Hachikō's life.