DNP Group and Kitaakita City to Promote Regional Revitalization
Efforts to Leverage XR and Offer Experiential Appreciation of Isedotai Site
Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd.
Tokyo, April 17, Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. (DNP) and DNP Planning Network Co., Ltd. (DNP Planning Network) in conjunction with Kitaakita City are pleased to announce the launch of an Extended Reality (XR)-driven Viewing System aiming to promote the regional revitalization of the city situated in the north of Akita Prefecture.
The new system will be launched on April 18, and is designed to broadcast the year-round appeal of the Isedotai Site, an archeological site dating from the Jomon period of Japanese history which lasted from approximately 14,000 BCE to 300 BCE. It is hoped that doing so will help boost the number of visitors to the city from both Japan and overseas. The digital system can be enjoyed at both the Isedotai Jomon Museum, which is adjacent to the site, or via the museum website at https://www.city.kitaakita.akita.jp/isedotai/digitalxjomon.
The Isedotai Site in Kitaakita City was registered as a World Cultural Heritage Site in 2021 as part of 17 Jomon Prehistoric Sites in Northern Japan. In addition to the remains of four stone circles, three of which are complete, a large number of clay figurines and ritual implements have also been excavated at the site. Kitaakita City is also home to numerous regional resources, including those of interest from the point of view of nature, tourism, culture, and transportation. Recently, there has also been a demand for the provision of a service with a hybrid experiential value that combines a virtual experience with a real experience on site.
In response to these challenges, the DNP Group and Kitaakita City will provide a new cultural experience that allows users to experience the charm of the Isedotai Site online from any place at any time.
This initiative is part of the Isedotai Site XR project that Kitaakita City has been promoting since 2022. It is a system that balances the need to maintain the cultural heritage in an appropriate state, while also opening it to the public for general viewing and academic use. The XR Project has been adopted as the recipient of a Digital Garden City National Promotion Grant (Type 1) from the Prime Minister’s Office of Japan.
With this initiative as a starting point, Kitaakita City and the DNP Group will work to develop the world cultural heritage of Kitaakita City as an attractive regional resource, aiming to create learning and experiential opportunities, while also cultivating civic pride among local residents.
At the same time, by broadcasting cultural and tourism resource information both in Japan and on an international basis, we also aim to further revitalize the region by expanding to other regions the name recognition of the area, increasing the people involved in such projects, boosting visitor numbers, and human exchanges.
In addition to Kitaakita City, we will also promote cooperation with the other Jomon Prehistoric Sites in Northern Japan.
[Features of new Cultural Experiences Leveraging XR]
3D Viewing System
Allows for a three-dimensional (3D) appreciation of objects, as though the user were holding, say, rare clay figurines in their hands.
The texture and fine patterns of the excavated items have been reproduced using high-definition digital archive technology. Users can operate the 3D viewing system themselves to view the details of the 10 excavated items from various angles. This system can only be used at the Isedotai Jomon Museum.
3D Viewing System
2D Viewing System
Learn about the relationships and characteristics of the unique excavated items.
By operating the cube-shaped interface on the screen, it is possible to view the locations and depths at which the excavated artefacts were discovered. In doing so, it becomes possible to gain a visual feel for the positional connections between the excavated items and their long history. By selecting an excavated item on the screen, detailed explanations can be viewed. This system is available online.
2D Viewing System
360° VR Viewing System
Tour the four stone circles in a 360-degree VR space.
Experience visiting the site by smartphone or personal computer. So as not to interfere with the surroundings, no explanatory signboards have been installed on site. However, a variety of information is displayed on the system screen, allowing viewers to gain a deeper understanding of the characteristics of the ruins. Thanks to video shot using a drone, it is also possible to confirm the scale of the site as well as gain rare views of the line-up of the four stone circles. This system is also available online.
360° VR Viewing System
These three systems are available in both Japanese and English.
[Other Measures and Activities]
Flat Clay figurine paper craft activities for both children and adults
The unique shapes of the clay figurines created by the Jomon people in their daily lives have been taken and reproduced as paper craft. People of all ages can easily come into contact with, and enjoy the charm of the clay figurines, which are cultural assets. In addition to being sold at the museum shop of the Isedotai Jomon Museum, we are also planning to use the paper crafts in hands-on programs at the museum. We will also propose the use of the new system in regional history classes at schools and in lifelong learning.
Video PR using digital signage at major railway stations in the Tokyo Metropolitan area
In February 2023, we carried out a promotion to convey the charm of Kitaakita City to people in the Tokyo Metropolitan area. Some 268 digital signage screens installed at 18 stations in 24 areas of the JR East network, including Tokyo Station, were used to distribute videos of the XR content of the Isedotai Stone Circles.
Promotions driven by Influencers
Ms. Akiko Konda, a well-known influencer published a six part column, which talks about the charm of the Jomon period. It is possible to enjoy Jomon clay figurines, pottery, and lifestyles without any specialized knowledge.
URL for Ms. Konda’s column (in Japanese only) https://www.city.kitaakita.akita.jp/isedotai/dogugirltalks
NB: The English translation appears to have been done via a machine translation system, and may be difficult to read.
*For more information on the DNP Viewing System, please visit https://www.dnp.co.jp/biz/theme/cultural_property/feature03/10161344_3688.html (in Japanese only)
*Product prices, specifications and service details referred to in this news release are current as of the date of the announcement. They may be changed without notice.
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