Editor's note: This is part of a series of videos offering an up-close perspective on the animal kingdom. A special 360-degree video camera system was set up in zoos and other facilities to show how the animals view their world as they interact.

Also visit our special 360-DEGREE LIVES page (http://t.asahi.com/360lives), where you can watch all the previous videos.

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With their small eyes, erect triangular ears and curled tails, Akita Inu dogs have stolen the spotlight at home and abroad.

Most recently, an Akita Inu dog made headlines after Russian figure skating champion Alina Zagitova became the owner of a puppy named Masaru.

Masaru was raised at Noshiro Kojuso in Noshiro, Akita Prefecture. The kennel is managed by Junichi Motose, 57, who currently raises five puppies born in June.

Each puppy is about 30 centimeters long and weighs about 3 kilograms, with fur colors ranging from white to brindle and red. They are from the same litter.

A camera was placed inside a pen set up for the shooting session while the puppies were walking around whimpering. They seemed to be curious about the camera, licking the lens filter and playing with the equipment. When I tried to wipe the lens clean, they clung to my hand as if they wanted me to play with them.

“I think I met Masaru when she was around the same age as them,” Motose said. “She was very friendly, good-natured and calm.”

The breeder raised Masaru and her four siblings for about a month after they turned 50 days old because the mother of Zagitova’s dog was born in Motose’s kennel.

The Akita Inu is a large breed originating in Akita Prefecture. It became the first Japanese dog designated as a special natural treasure in 1931.

The breed is popular for its loyalty to its master, with the best-known example being “Chuken Hachiko” (Hachiko the loyal dog), whose statue stands in front of Tokyo’s JR Shibuya Station.

According to the Akitainu Hozonkai (Akita dog preservation society), the number of Akita Inu with a registered pedigree from the society was about 46,000 in the peak year of 1972.

Growing interest in the breed overseas in recent years has led to more Akita Inu dogs being registered abroad than in Japan.

There were 2,628 Akita Inu dogs in Japan in 2016 compared with 3,922 overseas. The respective figures for 2017 were 2,704 and 3,967.

Of the Akita Inu dogs registered overseas, about 80 percent are in China.

Motose currently cares for 15 Akita Inu dogs, taking them for walks and feeding them each morning and evening. He has spent the past 25 years devoted to dogs.

“I hope to keep my strength up for 10 more years or so,” the breeder said. “If we don’t do anything, there will be far fewer Akita Inu dogs born in Akita Prefecture in the not-so-distant future.”