Mimir applying for Epic Megagrant
In 2019, Epic Games launched MegaGrants, a $100 million program to globally accelerate the work of talented teams and individuals working with Unreal Engine, 3D graphics tools, and open source software. Since then, tens of millions of dollars have been provided to hundreds of recipients to build games using the Unreal game engine.
Mimir, a company based in Tajimi, Japan, has applied for funding for a project we believe to be unique. To help the ailing ceramics industry in our region and raise brand awareness, we are working with experimental archeologist Sokei Aoyama to enable people to enter the inferno of a firing kiln and experience in person the creation of precious white tea bowls - or Shiro tenmoku.
An early version of the prototype can be seen in the video below.
What is unique about this project is that it lives in the intersection of cultural heritage, entertainment in the virtual world, and real world reconstruction. We also aim to design a business model for other developers who want to step outside of pure entertainment and build VR experiences with benefits for the local community and industry.
The experience will be provided to museums around the world to make our region and its culture more accessible to people, and to raise awareness of the Mino ware tradition. The Shiro tenmoku tea bowls were made in mediaeval times for the elite in Japanese society, who used them in the traditional tea ceremony. The unique white clay in the mountains around our village - Onada - made the creation of these bowls possible. They are thought to be one of the few examples of pottery that originated in Japan.
Our project, called Japan in Motion, is setting out an ambitious goal. While the flames and gases in our kiln project is a start, we intend to build on the same model of co-operation with locals and industry around the country to capture movement, such as traditional dances. We will show how to build a sustainable model of reinvigorating local industry through the entertainment and visual powers of VR. We believe in the age of uncertainty and pandemics, VR will be a vital tool for bringing people and cultures closer together, and our favorite tool for this is Unreal Engine from Epic.
To learn more, please contact us and we will be most happy to provide more details.