Japan's beloved Hachiko dog statue in front of Shibuya Station in Tokyo was showcased to the public in a pop-up bedroom artwork display on Sunday, drawing crowds to the rare sight of the loyal canine, which famously waited there for the return of its deceased master, resting indoors.
The art installation comes as commemorative events are being held to mark 100 years since the birth of Hachiko. On display for one day only, Hachiko's resting area is styled as a bedroom with a floor space the size of around six tatami mats (approximately just over 9 square meters).
In the installation, which has been placed upon the exact spot where the statue stands, Hachiko is seen sitting on a blanket laid on top of a bed, with a food bowl, magazines and a sofa nearby.
Despite the drizzle and cold weather, many people stopped by to take photos of the statue, which is now a landmark of Tokyo's Shibuya Ward, as well as a popular meeting place and tourist spot.
Contemporary artist Tatsu Nishino conceived of the idea for the installation 10 years ago and completed the project after working on it for about a year and a half.
"I hope to someday create (an artwork even bigger in scale) dubbed 'Hachiko hotel,'" Nishino, 63, said.
Hachiko, who is said to have been born in Akita Prefecture's Odate city in November 1923, was taken in by a university professor, Hidesaburo Ueno, who was living in Shibuya.
The dog won a place in the country's heart for showing up at Shibuya Station every day for about 10 years awaiting its master's return from work, even after Ueno's death in 1925. Hachiko died in 1935.
The tale inspired the 2009 U.S. film "Hachi: A Dog's Tale," which stars Richard Gere and was released to global audiences.
"I'm deeply moved by the warmth I feel from the work," said Junko Ando, whose late father Takeshi Ando was the sculptor of the second monument to the dog, unveiled in 1948. "I think my father would have also found it (the display) interesting."
The current statue replaced an earlier version erected in 1934 that was removed during World War II.