Japanese companies Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd and Digital Ehon have come out with an innovative App that is sure to appeal to art lovers. The App, called “My Unryuzu”, has been developed in collaboration with the art exhibit “Japanese Masterpieces from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston” that is being held at the Tokyo National Museum from March 20th to June 10th.

The app features the painting “Unryuzu” (image of dragon and clouds), one of the main works of art that will be shown in the exhibit.

Unryuzu is a magnificent painting of dragon and clouds originally drawn on fusuma, or traditional Japanese sliding doors, painted in the 1760’s by the eccentric Edo Period artist Soga Shohaku. The painting, which has been in storage at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston since 1911, had been removed from the original fusuma door and is being exhibited to the public for the first time after recent restoration.

The app My Unryuzu allows smartphone users to view the large 8-panel painting in its entirety or to zoom in for close-up views of details. It also offers a fun interactive feature where users can play a traditional Japanese game of “fukuwarai” with parts of the painting. Fukuwarai is a game that is played using the shape of a face and the different parts of the face all made from paper, in which players try to put the pieces of the face in place while blindfolded. With this app, you can play fukuwarai using the parts of the dragon’s face and enjoy the funny results. You can even save the face you created and use it as your smartphone wallpaper.

The app is made for iPhones and Android phones and is available for 350 yen from the App Store or the Android App Market.

Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd and Digital Ehon have announced that they are planning to develop more art-themed and educational apps, so art fans can look forward to more treats in the future. In the meantime, if you enjoy art, we hope you have fun with this unique and beautiful app, as the powerful depiction of the dragon is definitely worth a look.

Sources: Keitai Watch (Japanese)
Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd and Digital Ehon Press Release (Japanese)

Reference: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (English)
Tokyo National Museum (Japanese)