Tōno Monogatari Museum

Tōno Monogatari, Folktale Museum:Interactive projection mapping and sensor animated exhibit.

To celebrate the anniversary of the publication of Tōno Monogatari, Juncture was contacted to develop an interactive exhibit installation that would reach more visitors of the museum by communicating Japanese stories visually.

The city of Tōno is a tourist destination. However, it is very rural. Much of the tourism is domestic. The Tōno Tourism Association and the Tōno Monogatari Museum wanted to make the stories more accessible to domestic and foreign tourists. Tōno is known throughout Japan as the cradle of Tōno Monogatari (Tales of Tōno), written in 1910 by Kunio Yanagita, who gathered folk tales of the area. This book is now considered one of the greatest studies of Japanese folklore. The Monogatari Kura (Legend Storehouse) uses images to explain these stories.

Juncture led a team of three students and one regional artist in construction of the interactive exhibit, which utilizes animated shadow-play representations of stories to highlight their climax. The exhibit includes twelve artisan-crafted, iconic sculptures that are cast in iron through a technique for which the region is known. Capacitive sensors attached to each stationary sculpture can be touched to trigger a projection-mapped animation and sound representation of each story. This enables the exhibit to communicate non-verbally and reach across language barriers.
Executive Summary

Tōno Monogatari Museum and the Tōno Tourism Association established a museum to visually explore the folktales and legends of Tōno. Juncture’s principal Strat Parrott was commissioned to create an installation that provided visual representations of these stories.

Challenges

While several of the projects included audio readings of the folktales from regional storytellers, the main challenge was to communicate unique regional folktales in a non-verbal manner that would intrigue tourists.

Solutions

Juncture’s decision to animate key story moments and pair them with artisan iron cast sculptures created a centerpiece for the museum’s free-form exhibits. Keeping with a simple push-to-play concept and pairing it with projection-mapped animations made for a visually captivating exhibit that appeared both high-tech and high-concept.

Results

Juncture’s exhibit allows visitors to experience the highlights of twelve different folktales in a playful and memorable fashion. Unexpectedly, the installation has been used as a centerpiece and key component to the museum’s flow, inviting guests to delve deeper into the legends of Tōno Monogatari. Additionally, the decision to incorporate a local artist and sculptor opened up a merchandising opportunity for the museum and collectors.