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Tale of Genji in virtual space? Developing new technologies to display cultural properties

The Kawai Laboratory, under the supervision of Professor Takashi Kawai from the Department of Intermedia Art and Science, has been conducting experiments on stereoscopic 3D images and virtual reality from an ergonomic perspective (meaning, comfort design catering to human factors). The laboratory has proposed and evaluated new ways to appreciate cultural properties through such advanced technologies.

As one of the projects to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Waseda University’s Central Library, the Kawai Laboratory, Waseda University Library, and Re-Invention Co., Ltd. created virtual reality content on the automated storage and retrieval system (known as Jidōshoko), which most library users do not get to see, and on the most popular picture scrolls from the Kotenseki Sogo Database, “Four Seasons in Genji” and “Atsumori.” By using a stereoscope device, the videos can be viewed 360 degree in 3D virtual reality. Such interdisciplinary, industry-academic collaboration demonstrates an exciting alternative on presenting cultural properties and institutions content which differs from your visits to the library and museums as well as looking at 2D digital archives.

For more information on the research, contact Professor Kawai: tkawai@waseda.jp

The following 360°VR×3D videos can be viewed using Youtube’s VR mode


The virtual reality content for the automated storage and retrieval system depicts a book being extracted from the archives by a conveyor system.
* Please watch with YouTube application for VR view.

Experience the graceful world of “Four Seasons in Genji”

The virtual reality content of the picture scrolls immerse its viewers to the captivating, floating world of classical Japanese literature. “Four Seasons in Genji” comes with the narration by Professor Gaye Rowley from the Faculty of Law.
* Please watch with YouTube application for VR view.

“Son of Atsumori” in 360VRx3D

The Atsumori Picture Scroll, based on the medieval story “Son of Atsumori,” tells what happens after the death of Taira no Atsumori in the Genpei Wars. His son is brought up by the holy man Hōnen and succeeds in meeting both his mother and the spirit of his late father.
* Please watch with YouTube application for VR view.

Experience 360°VR×3D videos at the following events.

Library Week 2016

Date: October 3 – 7, 2016
Time: 11:30 – 12:30
Venue: Study Room A on the 2nd floor of Waseda University Central Library

The Library and Me

Date: October 21, 2016
Time: 14:00 – 14:50
Venue: VR Booth on the 1st Floor of the International Conference Center, Building 18, Waseda University

For more information on the events, contact Waseda University Library: lib-25shunen-novelty@list.waseda.jp

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