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Umino Okami Explores Myths and History of Yamagata, Japan

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umino okami

Mamoru “zuga” Kano’s Umino Okami, which he made himself using Unreal Engine 5, has appeared at Yamagata Biennale 2022 as a playable display. The Yamagata Biennale is an art festival held every two years by the Tohoku University of Art and Design.

The game puts the player in the paws of a wolf, who crosses a lake in search of companions. While the story seems simple, the trailer shows a lot of surreal sights. For example, there are manatees flying through the air, as well as strange spirit-like beings you can encounter.

The game uses a lot of Yamagata’s history in the story, and the map uses the real Yamagata Prefecture’s geography. Umino Okami specifically focuses on the Mogaumi Legend, which states that there used to be a giant lake in Yamagata. Like how Mogaumi Lake “might have existed,” the usage of wolves in the game is because people say wolves “might have existed” in Yamagata. This idea appears to be the theme of the game, which is why there are fantastical elements in the story.

Umino Okami will be available at Yamagata Biennale 2022 from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM. Visitors can play it on weekends throughout September 2022. Kano is a professor at the Tohoku University of Art and Design. His specialty is in visual design, 3DCG, and software development. It is unclear when, or if, Umino Okami will be available to download for the wider public.

Umino Okami will appear on PC at Yamagata Biennale 2022 from September 3 to 25, 2022.

Stephanie Liu
Stephanie is a Canadian writer, translator, anime fan, and gamer. She only exhibits her true power at night.