Boncuk, the Turkish Hachikō

Marek Szturc / Unsplash

Boncuk, the Turkish Hachikō

What’s the story behind Boncuk?

January 2021. Boncuk, a loyal, mix-breed dog spent several days outside a hospital in the city of Trabzon, waiting for her master to recover. After owner Cemal Senturk fell ill, his devoted pet followed after the ambulance. Once separated, the dog then watched through the hospital’s automatic doors, patiently keeping a look out.

Even once Mr Senturk’s daughter dragged the pooch home, Boncuk escaped and visited the hospital every day. The loyal pet and owner were finally reunited, as Mr Senturk was discharged on Wednesday 20th January. Both have since returned home.

Such a moving story of doggy loyalty puts us in mind of Hachikō.


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Who was Hachikō?

Hachikō was a loyal Japanese Akita dog from the late Taishō to early Shōwa era, remembered for his remarkable devotion to his late master. A pet to Hidesaburō Ueno, a university professor from Shibuya, Tokyo, the two had a daily ritual. Every day after returning from Tokyo Imperial University, Ueno would meet with Hachikō at Shibuya Station. Both would then walk home together.


However, on May 21st 1925, Ueno died at work, suffering from a cerebral hemorrhage. Unaware, Hachikō waited every day at Shibuya Station for the next ten years, hoping to see his master return. Today, there is a statue outside the train station, marking the spot where the loyal hound waited patiently for his friend.


Hachiko Statue Shibuya Station


Who knows? Maybe, one day in the distant future, there might be a statue placed outside the hospital in Trabzon. A statue dedicated to the memory of Boncuk, the Turkish Hachiko…



A Japan-enthusiast from the UK, with a particular interest in history and the language, as well as cycling, writing and rock climbing.