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Museum / ExhibitionUji City Board of Education The Tale of Genji Museum

Murasaki Shikibu left to the world the eternal magic of The Tale of Genji. Panasonic projectors allow everyone to see this timeless tale unfold in crisp and magnificent images.

240-inch high definition system employing the TH-DW7000
The Tale of Genji Museum Director, Ikuo Kishimoto
The Tale of Genji Museum Director, Ikuo Kishimoto
"We're delighted by the positive reactions we've gotten from museum visitors since our renovation," says Mr. Kishimoto, museum director at The Tale of Genji Museum. The complete overhaul of the museum, guided largely by the director himself, has led to a surge in the number of visitors, causing the museum to become busier even on weekdays. With its new facilities and a renewed sense of enthusiasm among the staff, the museum is more well-equipped than ever to immerse visitors in the splendor of The Tale of Genji.
The final chapters in The Tale of Genji are set in Uji. The Tale of Genji Museum, located here in Uji, has completed a renovation of the contents of its exhibits. Crisp, full high-definition images play a key role in the museum's new look. Panasonic DLP™ projectors are used to present the world of The Tale of Genji in its full glory.
Established in Uji, an important place in The Tale of Genji, this museum gives visitors the opportunity to immerse themselves in Heian-era culture.
Of the 54 chapters in The Tale of Genji, penned by Murasaki Shikibu, the final 10 are set in the city of Uji. Opened to the public in Uji in 1998, The Tale of Genji Museum is the only museum in the world devoted to the world of The Tale of Genji and Heian culture, presented through recreations and projected images. Since its foundation, the museum has been guided by the concept of immersing visitors in the noble world of Heian aesthetic scrolls, and has made video projections a cornerstone of this mission. After 10 years, however, the museum saw the need to update both the content of its exhibitions and its methods of presentation. A major part of their efforts was devoted to introducing large-scale, high-definition projections to the museum, and these projections became a centerpiece of its renovation.
The main exhibition hall features large-screen, high-definition video projected by the TH-DW7000.
When visitors enter the museum, the first exhibition they encounter is the Heian Room, which is based on the themes of the first half of The Tale of Genji, namely the capital of Heian-kyo and the protagonist Hikaru Genji himself. This room contains a 240-inch high-definition system employing the Panasonic TH-DW7000 DLP™ projector. "In the past, we used a multiple projection system with two rows of sixteen 40-inch projection units each, for a total of thirty-two units. When we undertook the renovation, being able to display images with maximum impact was a top priority for us, and that is why we introduced this large-screen system," says Mr. Kishimoto. Considering the depth of the room, the previous system was quite wide from right to left, so much so that "it actually made it hard to see," explains Mr. Kishimoto. In addition, the passage of time had led to subtle differences in the colors of the individual screens, a problem that gave the museum staff no end of trouble.

Thanks to the renovation, the charm of The Tale of Genji and the outline of its story are presented to the public in beautiful high-definition images. These images are delivered using a Blu-ray Disc system with automatic playback. "We had prepared four preset patterns that would play the film at varying intervals depending on the number of visitors, but we've had more visitors than we predicted, so we've been using the pattern intended for the most crowded times all day, every day," says the director with a laugh.
The TH-DW7000 is contained in a box near the ceiling of the Heian Room   Blu-ray Disc player

The contents of the still projections in the Uji Room continue on the themes of the Heian Room's images
The Movie Room offers an original high-definition film to top off the exhibition.
One of the high points of the museum is the Movie Room, where an original video presentation can be viewed. This facility existed prior to the renovation and employed projectors made by another manufacturer, but museum director Kishimoto says he felt that "it was vital to have full high-definition projection equipment in order to show our original high-definition film on the ten Uji Chapters, entitled 'Hashi-Hime [The Princess at the Bridge]: The Depth of Women's Love.' " The Panasonic TH-DW10000 was brought in for this purpose. It boasts a level of brightness far above that of the previously used projectors; there was even concern that it maybe too bright for rear projection, but in the end its powerful, large-size projections were ideal for the room's needs. Image delivery is handled by the P2 studio recorder, capable of baseband high-definition projection.
The Movie Room functions as a high-definition theater featuring 200-inch projection using the TH-DW10000

Crisp images are projected from the rear of the screen. The TH-DW10000 is mounted in a compact space and rests on the same base used for the previous projector
The projectors operate all day, from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Demands for reliability and durability were key factors in selecting Panasonic equipment.
The Tale of Genji Museum is open every day from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, except for Mondays and the New Year's holiday at the beginning and end of each year. The projectors operate all day, from a test run at 8:30 AM until the museum's closing time. The need for reliable performance under such a demanding schedule was one of the things that led the museum to choose Panasonic DLP™ projectors. Both models in use employ a multiple-lamp system, so the image will not disappear even if a lamp happens to burn out. Mr. Kishimoto recalls, "With our previous projectors, there were times when the image suddenly disappeared, leaving us with only sound, and we had to apologize profusely to our visitors." With the new projectors, there's no need to worry about such incidents.

The recent renovation has received rave reviews, and the number of visitors has been growing by leaps and bounds. "We wanted to give people a chance to get familiar with The Tale of Genji, and we thought the best way to achieve this was to focus on the use of video imagery that was accessible and could be viewed repeatedly," says Mr. Kishimoto. "Video is the lifeblood of this museum." He is pleased to note that, since the renovation, the facility has become a more popular destination for school trips, the staff has gained a more optimistic outlook, and positive results have been obtained among both visitors and staff members. The Tale of Genji Museum is on track to increase its popularity even further, becoming a new must-see stop on the Kyoto tourist trail.
Uji City Board of Education The Tale of Genji Museum
Uji, Kyoto
System installed by
PLANNET, Inc. Kinki Strawberry Media Arts, Ltd.
Equipment installed Equipment installed
Enlarge image for viewing.