Shining ‘hollow dogu’ features in Hakodate Miraikan’s ‘virtual archaeological excavation’ game

The shining ‘hollow dogu’ unearthed in the virtual archaeological excavation

By using a remote-control device to shine a light in the dark, and pressing a button, the ‘hollow dogu’ (clay figure) – Hokkaido’s only national treasure, which was discovered in the Minamikayabe district of Hakodate in southern Hokkaido – appears on a large screen surrounded by dazzling light. The ‘virtual archaeological excavation’, which can be experienced at the Miraikan in the city of Hakodate, is a unique game that allows both children and adults alike to have fun while coming into contact with the Jomon culture.

The archaeological excavation is part of a ‘virtual tour of Hakodate’ in which city tourist spots such as Goryokaku and the like can be viewed on a 2 m-tall, 16 m-wide screen. The excavation can be enjoyed for several minutes toward the end of the tour, which takes in both the Ofune and Kakinoshima archaeological sites in the Minamikayabe district. A total of 24 types of artifacts can be excavated. Jomon Period earthenware and lumps of asphalt, as well as shells and animal bones can be unearthed randomly in the system, and rare and highly valued items are indicated by the bright lights that surround them.

The excavated artifacts can be enlarged and rotated using the remote-control device, enabling the soles of the feet of the hollow dogu and the underside of the earthenware to be viewed in detail – things that cannot be seen when the artifacts themselves are displayed.

The Jomon Prehistoric Sites in Northern Japan, including the two sites in Minamikayabe have become a UNESCO World Heritage Site, increasing interest among local residents.


Hakodate Miraikan