The front legs, ears and tail of the bronze statue of "Faithful Dog Hachiko," a symbol of Tokyo's busy Shibuya district, have become yellow-tinged and shiny from people touching them.

"It is proof that he is loved and touched by everybody," said Takeshi Ando, 86, the statue's sculptor.

Hachiko, an Akita, has experienced a lot of ups and downs in his life and is likely to get even more attention with the August release in Japan of the U.S. movie "Hachiko: A Dog's Story," starring Richard Gere, a remake of a 1930s film.