The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation has made “aging” a centerpiece of its new permanent exhibitions that opened to the public on Wednesday.
The museum in Tokyo’s Odaiba district, popularly known as Miraikan, has completed work on four new permanent exhibitions, all of which are in line with its vision to help visitors confront various social issues and find ideas on how to overcome them, Miraikan CEO Chieko Asakawa told reporters Tuesday.
In addition to the exhibition devoted to “aging,” there are two new exhibitions that let people experience life with “robots,” and one that showcases “planetary crisis,” brought on by climate change and other global issues.
“Aging is a rare topic to be handled by a science museum, but we have worked hard on creating an exhibit on this theme, thinking it’s important for Japan,” said Asakawa, a former IBM engineer and accessibility technology expert who assumed the current role at the museum in April 2021.
“We want to convey the message that Japan’s superaging society can lead the world by making the best of technologies and social systems to deal with aging.”
The “Park of Aging” area features several games that allow people to simulate how aging affects vision, hearing and physical functions. In one immersive video game, visitors put weights on their feet and experience walking to a supermarket while holding onto a shopping trolly. In another, visitors play video games while experiencing blurry vision.
It also displays technologies that allow people to cope with age-related challenges, including a robot currently being developed and tested at a nursing care facility, which chats and sings songs with older people.