Field Oral History

Exploring and archiving memories of the past and present of current locations by going out into the field

Oral history is a method of historical research in which records are compiled by directly interviewing stakeholders, and it is said to shed light on facts that have not been made explicit in written documents. This time, as part of an online study group, I conducted a location-based oral history with my advisors when I was a student researcher. The professors were my advisors in the 1970s, and both are now emeritus at the University of Tokyo. While we were unable to meet them directly outside due to the pandemic, we went around the familiar Akihabara area while chatting in CoMADO and recorded from an oral history perspective, from the scenery of the electric town to research-related happenings and equipment purchases at that time, and how the town has changed since then.

Chatting, City Exploration, Oral History

Why Choose CoMADO

  • Even the person themselves may recall forgotten memories of a place through images of the neighborhoods, so you can discover episodes that you would not be able to hear in a face-to-face interview
  • Since each person’s experience changes the way they see a town, you can learn about the features of the town from various perspectives, and rediscover and reaffirm the town’s attractiveness
  • CoMADO records can be utilized as the collective knowledge of the participants

Suitable for

  • Those who wish to learn about a town’s history from seniors who know the area while touring the town.
  • Those who would like to look for pointers for the future by observing the town from different generational perspectives.


In this program, one presenter will go out and explore the town while talking with participants in CoMADO, and share their episodes with everyone. While observing the current cityscape, the participants of different generations will visit relevant places while sharing their own memories of the town, moving back and forth between the present and the past, and finally exploring the signs of the future.

Typical Duration
75 minutes (CoMADO usage time)
Typical # of Participants
3 to 4 people
CoMADO room, Miro board, Internet, stabilizer (for the presenter), smartphone, tablet PC


  • 01

    30 to 60 min.


    Decide among the participants which town to visit. Determine the locations in advance, taking into account the interests of the participants, places that are memorable to them, and accessibility. (Participants do not necessarily have to be involved; the organizers may decide at their own discretion what they would like to hear about.)

  • 02

    5 min.


    As a test of the CoMADO connection and voice calls, greet the participants and give a light report on the city.

  • 03

    About 60 min.

    Exploring the town

    After telling the participants about the town, without deciding where to go in advance, each participant points out the direction and location of the place they want to go, and the presenter repeats moving and exploring while looking at the live broadcast and maps and overlapping with their memories. Even if you don’t move around a lot, you may stay in one place and enjoy chatting while pointing out places you want to go, as the conversation may become more lively at a store or a corner of the town.

    The tour duration was set for about 60 minutes due to the smartphone’s battery life and the health condition of the elderly teachers.

  • 04

    10 min.


    On CoMADO, summarize the day, discuss what each person found interesting and what they noticed, and give opinions on future directions.

  • 05

    About 60 min.

    Editing the records on the Miro board

    Since the event’s primary objective is to record the archives, the records on the Miro board are not shared in real-time, but the organizers will add comments and photos later and compile them as an archive.


Ryoko Ueoka

上岡 玲子

Holds a Ph.D. in Engineering from the Department of Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies, Graduate School of Engineering, the University of Tokyo. She specializes in UI/UX and VR, and is a member of the CoMADO development team. Aiming to update the way of working in the era of 100 years of life, she left Kyushu University to establish zeroinon Inc. in 2021, where she serves as the President and Representative Director.


As you share the current state of neighborhoods, episodes of past daily life will naturally come up, and you will be able to elicit various episodes that you could not ask in face-to-face interviews, leaving valuable records as oral histories.

The stories also bring back scenes of the town that are now lost, such as the fact that there used to be a public bath here, and you can enjoy the sensation of mining the town‘s past while using CoMADO.

Tips & Tricks

When pointing to a location, be sure to point to the screen. On-site presenters, in particular, often change the angle of the screen by saying “here,” but changing the angle does not convey to the remote people where you are indicating. Frequent angle changes may also make the viewers more prone to getting intoxicated. When you want to point to a specific spot, use CoMADO’s pointing feature and share it with everyone.

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