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postcard images

PDA Star Festival is a CD-ROM multimedia product that presents an "intimate" Japan. The format is that of an interactive fiction/documentary. It contains about 30 minutes of video, over 120 original photo images, a variety of 3D graphics, original sound track, and "field notes" that provide the cultural/historical context for the show.

Diary HighSchool

The videos are of spontaneous interviews done in the city of Hiratsuka. Examples include a woman in her 60s who describe the day Hiratsuka was bombed by American B-29 bombers; a kimono shop woman who takes the user on a tour of her shop; and a businessman who every year wins the top honors for the best decoration at the Star Festival.

Shrine Station

These materials are presented in the context of an interactive story, about a Japanese man who left Japan when he was 10 and has lived in the U.S. for 30 years; he goes back to Japan to discover his roots. The voice narration is by George Takei, Mr. Sulu of the original Star Trek TV series. The show can be used by people studying Japanese language, but it is also designed for those who have no knowledge of Japanese. It will be available in late spring 1996 in Mac and PC versions.

Educational/entertainment software for learning about Japanese culture, Japanese language, and cross-cultural issues.

Japanese is linguistically and culturally remote from the Western societies. An aim of this show is to make the "every" lives of people in Japan, including language, accessible.

Interactive Fiction/Documentary

Star Fest has been in production for nearly four years. It has been beta tested at MIT and at a number of local high schools.

Japanese FLL

Star Festival
(previously Tanabata)

Shigeru Miyagawa,
Executive Producer
Michael Roper,
Creative Director
Ellen Sebring,
Tom Thornton,
Chief Software Engineer
Taka Torii,
Cultural Consultant and Technical Support

- Japan-America Institute of Management Science
- Consortium for Language Teaching and Learning
- ASCII Corporation
- Funabashi Business & Computers College
- A Gift from Kochi Prefecture, Japan
- National Endowment for the Humanities
- MIT Provost NEC Fund
- MIT Center for Educational Computing Initiative
- U.S. Department of Education

Direct all inquiries to
For information about marketing and purchase, contact:

Starfestival Website

Those who are studying Japanese language/culture; those who are interested in Japan even only in passing; those interested in cross- cultural studies.

CD-ROM, on Mac and PC.

For those who wish to view the Japanese language feature of the show, they need to have Japanese-font capability. However, the show is programmed in such a way that a user without this capability can view the entire show, minus the Japanese fonts. There is an English subtitle, and also English voiceover, for the interviews.

Shigeru Miyagawa, Executive Producer of Star Festival and the Executive Director of JP NET, received the Irwin Sizer Award in May 1995, for the most significant improvement to MIT education.

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