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Japanese scrolls are inherently interactive—they are meant to be rolled and unrolled.

Asian Art Museum Japanese Scroll Interpretive Touchscreen

A Visit to the Yoshiwara is a 17th century Japanese scroll that depicts the various sensuous activities that happened in the famous pleasure quarter in what is now present day Tokyo. It is one of the finest remaining works by the artist Hishikawa Moronobu and being close to 58 feet long and containing 15 sections, one can easily miss its visual allusions and intricacies.

Japanese art at a museum

Photograph by the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco.

Japanese art on display in a museum.

For the exhibition Seduction: Japan’s Floating World at the Asian Art Museum, we worked with educators and curators to create an interactive scroll with embedded stories, images, and videos that provide visitors with an in-depth look at its contents. Interpretive hotspots placed throughout unveil various characters in disguise, decode hidden symbols, and provide historical context to individual elements in the work. A navigation bar at the bottom of the screen allows visitors to easily maneuver the scroll from end to end. This activity is built to allow museum staff to manage content while also allowing them to generate additional editions of the activity featuring other artwork.

A person is pointing at an image of a Chinese painting on a tablet.