In November of this year, Hachiko, the devoted Akita Inu dog that waited for his master’s arrival at Tokyo’s Shibuya Station, would have been 100. A famous Hollywood film and a significant bronze monument outside the station have both commemorated his narrative.

This summer, 20-year-old Stephanie Carletti, originally from Bergamo in northern Italy, will go to Japan for the first time to see places connected to Hachiko, such as the Aoyama Cemetery, the Shibuya neighborhood, and the National Museum of Nature and Science. Hidesaburo Ueno, a professor at Tokyo Imperial University, took in Hachiko when she was a baby. She was born in 1923 in Odate, Akita Prefecture. After being published in the Tokyo Asahi Shimbun, his tale generated a lot of excitement.

His great-great-grandchildren, Kai Ueno, 25, and Shin, 21, take tremendous pride in the fact that the dog their grandfather once had is still adored today. Shin learned about the dog through Kazuto, Shin’s grandpa and the grandson of Ueno. Shin had seen fan letters and other objects sent to the famed dog and felt a connection to him. After learning that an Ueno grandchild resided in the region, Carletti addressed an email to the prefectural administration. Kazuto sent a letter in response to the Italian admirer and began corresponding with her. Kai is eager to see Carletti when she visits Japan.