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Cosm Creates ‘Tokyo Origami,’ an Eight-part VR Series Available on Oculus

The Series Showcases Japan’s Rich Culture and Scenery When All Eyes Will Be on the Country This Summer

Cosm, a global experiential media and immersive technology company, announced today it is producing an eight-part, 360-degree VR series highlighting the richness and diversity of life in Tokyo. Named Tokyo Origami, the series will feature stories of temples and skyscrapers, tradition and high-tech, conformity and counterculture told through local Japanese storytellers. Tokyo Origami episodes will be available exclusively on Oculus headsets beginning July 28, helping people experience Japan even if they won’t be able to attend this summer’s games.

“Cosm Studios is excited to announce this first-of-its kind series for Oculus,” said Neil Carty, VP, Head of Cosm Studios and Labs. “While shooting in Japan, during a pandemic, wasn’t without challenges, it presented us with a unique opportunity to transport audiences to this diverse and vibrant city. The team worked masterfully to capture the energy of daily life, bringing viewers on a visual, cultural and often astounding journey.”

Produced by Cosm Studios, the series explores a range of themes, from traditional Japanese life to underground subcultures, while also capturing Japan’s love of sport, including breakdancing and karate. The behind-the-scenes production of the series became a story in itself. The team overcame several challenges unique to shooting the series during a pandemic resulting in a highly collaborative and innovative approach on the ground.

The collaboration brought together nearly a dozen filmmakers and producers from both Oculus and Cosm teams in the United States, Europe and Japan to capture stories from every corner of the city and beyond.

“We chose to shoot Tokyo Origami using a highly authentic, documentary-style approach focusing on people and real stories,” said Director, Robin Sip. “We wanted to present life in Tokyo today, without relying on old clichés and stereotypes, but rather highlighting the city’s incredible range of inhabitants, from the spiritualism of Shinto, to a touching life story of an Otaku in Akihabara.”

The eight-part series will be available on July 28, and feature individual short episodes in English and Japanese, including:

From Fish Market to Sushi: Follow the day in the life of an acclaimed sushi chef, from early morning visits to the fish market to his meticulous preparation of dishes served to clientele inside a traditional Japanese sushi bar.

Karate in Japan: Training Your Heart to Be Genuine. Watch Daiki, a six-year-old boy, learn the art of Karate at home and on the beaches of Okinawa, fulfilling his dreams of learning the ancient ways of the new Olympic sport.

Life On the Road: A Journey with Scooter Girl. Ride along with the Japanese creator “Scooter Girl,” as she tours the Iza Peninsula, popular with Tokyo residents for its mountains, picturesque coastlines, rocky cliffs and crystal blue waters.

What Shinto Means to Me: A Spiritual Day in Tokyo. Step into a Shinto Shrine and its colorful gardens with a young woman and her friends to learn about Shintoism and its role in Japanese life and culture. Experience the rituals and ceremonies to uncover their meaning.

Dancing with Japanese B-boys and B-girls: Discover the modern Tokyo street dance movement, inspired by hip-hop and breakdancing first popularized in the mid-1990s and renewed with new energy as it prepares to make its debut as an official Olympic sport in 2024.

Through the Eyes of an Otaku: Explore Akihabra “Electric Town,” a popular retro video game shop and an underground gaming café in Tokyo with an Otaku. Visit with him at home, hear his touching story and learn how it has made him the person he is today.

Tattoos and Taboos: Visit a traditional tattoo parlor off a dimly lit alleyway and witness an intricate story unfold in ink on a man’s body. Get inside access to Department-H, an underground club dedicated to Japan’s fascination with cosplay. Hear from the creator of this world and the designer of the elaborate costumes that clubgoers wear.

A Day in the Life of Two Career Women: Learn about a new class of confident women – Risako, a young fashion designer who uses VR to design her pieces, and internet entrepreneur Imada-san, who dreams of empowering the next generation of female entrepreneurs in Japan.

Tokyo Origami featured image
Tokyo Origami episode poster "Career Women"
Tokyo Origami episode poster "Breakdancing"