Back from the Ekoin in Ryogoku

Hao-chan passed away at the early age of 5 and 1/2 years in the early afternoon -coincidentally on the same date my father passed away three years ago.

It was obvious this morning that Hao was in an irrecoverable decline, and I made the decision to stay with him in peaceful, comfortable, familiar surroundings until the end.

Most of the day he was either sleeping in the palm of my hand, or sometimes resting on my body, like in this photo.

Recently, in a 1903 travel guide to Japan I read about a temple called the Ekoin ( which is in Ryogoku and happens to be near where I live. The temple was well known as a resting place for pets back then, and still is today, 109 years later.

At the Ekoin we held a short service for Hao and other pets brought in today. I left Hao in the mortuary, where he will be cremated, and I’ll pick up his urn on Wednesday. This is a photo of Hao before the service. I normally wouldn’t take a photo like this, but I think Hao’s many friends want to see him at peace.

I find it hard to believe that more than 5 years have passed since Hao first came home with me. It’s like he was here one day and gone the next.

And now I’ll light a candle for the memory of the 3rd anniversary of my father’s passing.




Back from the Ekoin in Ryogoku — 33 Comments

  1. Dear Doug,
    I have so enjoyed your posts and photos through the years with Hao. My deepest sympathy to you on his passing. The tincture of time will heal your heart.
    Susan Hurley

  2. Dear Susan,

    Thanks very much for your kind words. I greatly appreciate it.



  3. So sorry for your loss Doug. Your stories and videos with him were the best. They become such a huge part of your life and have such a big place in our hearts. Thoughts and hugs to you.

  4. Doug, I am a lurker on the Java website but always enjoyed reading about Hao and his antics. It is a great loss to everyone. My deepest condolences.

  5. Doug, I am another lurker who has followed your blog since the big earthquake. I’ve so enjoyed following the stories of your precious birds. I am so sorry for your loss of Hao. The ceremony following his passing was a beautiful way to honor him. My deepest sympathy.


  6. I’m so sorry for your loss. Hao was such a beautiful bird and I’m sure such a good companion for you and your other bird. I wish for you many good memories of your sweet pet.

  7. Doug,
    I’m so sorry for your and Mon’s painful loss. My heart has been with you the last few days. It sounds like you took as good care of Hao in his death as you did in his life. A sweet last day for him with the person and home that he loved. I don’t think he could have been more loved or better cared for.

    Debbie from the java group

  8. Oh, Doug. I cried for 5 min before I could write. I loved Hao so much, of course I never met him, but I did that thru the Internet because of you. You did EVERYTHING that you possibly could for Hao, never blame yourself. Actually, you did more than most owners would.
    I’m glad Hao is at peace. I’m happy that you showed us! He was not in pain, just tired. That’s the way I would choose. I’m so happy that he was with you at the end. It was most comforting for him and you, I’m sure.
    Some Javas die at 2 or 3 yrs, my longest was 11. That is a rarity. Hao had a great life, a great dad and that’s the most a Java could ask for.
    Now your whole focus is on Mon. She is grieving also. She may chirp for awhile, but it will pass soon if you are loving (as usual) and give her the attention she needs and wants.
    I am SO SO SORRY. Let me know if you need anything.

  9. I’m really sorry to hear that. When we take an animal into our lives we know this has to come eventually, but it’s always painful. I’m sorry for your loss.

  10. Thank you very much, Nancy. I really appreciate all your help and advice… since the very beginning actually! I am a bit worried about Mon because even though Hao more tolerated than liked her, she LOVED Hao. She will be given extra attention to help her cope.



  11. Thanks, Michael. Yes, I didn’t expect it this soon. With Tao it was obvious for a year he was in a gradual decline and truly died of old age. 3 weeks ago I would never have imagined this would happen with Hao, though in looking back I can see some hints of something going on were there.


  12. oh, doug. hard to imagine, but hao chan is no longer suffering, i guess. hard to imagine somehing with no ability to talk, can have such an impact on our lives.

  13. That’s true. And so tiny too. They just bond so much with people it’s amazing.


  14. Doug, sorry to hear about your loss. Hao passed on your father’s Jahrzeit (that’s the German spelling, not sure about the Yiddish)? Quite a co-incidence, but such things happen. My grandfather Schneider died on or near my grandmother’s birthday. My mother died on my father’s birthday. As my sister watched her husband die last year about the same time of year, she said she kept praying, “Don’t die on Daddy’s birthday.” (He didn’t.)

  15. Doug, I’m so sorry to hear about the passing of Hao. He was one LUCKY bird to have had you as his owner. I’m sure he felt the love because myself and everyone watching your videos did. I have been a lurker for about five years. I discovered your videos when I was searching if finches can be tamed like parakeets. I might have made a comment on one of your post in the past mentioning I was from Brookline, MA and you said you had family here. That blew my mind because all those years I thought you were from Japan.
    This might have been the reason why I commented in the past to you but just want to let Mon know there’s hope. I ended up with Brouke parakeets instead of Java’s and I had a pair for three years but her eggs were not fertile. Then the male died and about six months later I replaced him with a beautiful lutino. Six weeks later I had fertile eggs. They are still producing clutches. So if you do get a mate for Mon you might end up with fertile eggs too. It’s such a joy to see them raise there young. Good Luck!!

  16. Jill,

    Thanks very much for your message. My mother and sister live in Brookline and I live in Tokyo. I might consider getting Mon a mate at some point, but you know it’s almost impossible to sex young Javas.



  17. Hi Doug,
    Its really a sad time for you. My prayers that you overcome this irrecoverable loss, but frankly speaking even I could not think of forgeting Hao Chan. The day you brough him and trained and then found that Hao is a boy …later found a bride. You shared every thing of Hao with us and we all became so much introduced with Hao that it sounds so sad to think of Hao leaving us all.

  18. Hi Doug,
    Its really a sad time for you. My prayers that you overcome this irrecoverable loss, but frankly speaking even I could not think of forgeting Hao Chan. The day you brough him and trained and then found that Hao is a boy …later you found him a companion. You shared every thing of Hao with us and we all became so much introduced with Hao that it sounds so sad to think of Hao leaving us all. Take good care of Mon, find her a good buddy. Accept my sympathies. Wish you be able to find one such companion yet another time.
    Asif Imam

  19. Doug, I have been gone for a few days so just learned of your loss a few minutes ago. I am so sorry – I know that it will be awhile before you think of another but if you bought a proven male and then had chicks you could tame your own baby and what fun that would be.

    I know the emptiness a loss of a pet leaves. I lost a tame jave once because of my own carelessness and that was really hard to accept. These pets depend on us for their well being. I am so glad that you are able to put Hao to a suitable resting place. Please keep in touch with us.

  20. Thanks very much, Janet. It’s still early days, but I’m thinking about what to do about another Java Sparrow.



  21. Janet is SO nice! I wish that I could meet her. She lives in NE IA. Hi Janet if you read this!


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