The Tokyo Chapter of the Japanese Red Cross Society has awarded a certificate of appreciation to the Virtual Rights Specified Nonprofit Corporation (hereinafter abbreviated as NPO Virtual Rights) for its support via the Virtual Reality Photo Award 2021 A, held from June 11th to July 30th, 2021. The corporation set up a Red Cross booth in the virtual exhibition hall and solicited funds to be donated to the Red Cross Society through a website. The Virtual Reality Photo Award 2021 A was the world's largest VR photo event to date, receiving over 1,000 submissions and 1,400 visitors to the exhibition.

Commemorative photo at the Tokyo Chapter offices of the Japanese Red Cross Society

What is the VR Photo Award?

The VR Photo Award is an award established by NPO Virtual Rights with the aim of promoting VR culture to the general public. Photographs taken in virtual space are eligible for the award, and the Grand Prize and the Judges' Special Prize are awarded to the best works.

In spite of this being the first time, the photo award was a huge success, receiving more than 1,000 submissions and over 1,400 visitors to the exhibition. The event will continue going forward, to be held at a pace of twice a year. NPO Virtual Rights hopes the event can serve as a gateway to success for creators in the nascent field of virtual photography and as a place to transmit VR culture.

Virtual Exhibition

The entries submitted were displayed in an exhibition.

Since the event is held in a virtual space, it can be enjoyed safely by many visitors and their friends. It's a great way of enjoying an art exhibition even during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The winners were presented with a certificate and a 3D model of the trophy.

In addition to collecting donations through the award's website, NPO Virtual Rights set up a virtual booth for the Tokyo Branch of the Japanese Red Cross Society, through which it introduced the society's activities and helped raise awareness of blood donation and disaster preparedness.

Motivation for donating to the Red Cross

NPO Virtual Rights felt that the Japanese Red Cross Society's philosophy of "protecting human life, health, and dignity" is common to both the real and virtual worlds, so they decided to solicit participants and donate the collected funds to the Red Cross. The donations will be used for disaster relief activities.

Certificate of appreciation signed by Yuriko Koike, Tokyo mayor and Chair of the Tokyo Branch of the Japanese Red Crosss Society, addressed to NPO Virtual Rights Chair Yūto Kunitake

Commemorative photo with NPO Virtual Rights Chair Yūto Kunitake (in person)

Diversity within virtual reality

In the virtual world, various cultures are formed by users and creators. There are too many VR cultures to introduce here, but everything from theater groups to cross-cultural communication, idol activities to piloting airplanes can be found in virtual reality social platforms. In recent years, some subcultures have faced adversity due to excessive attempts to censor them, but NPO Virtual Rights hopes that VR culture will continue to develop freely in the future.

Examples of some of the cultural representations submitted to NPO Virtual Rights: Top row (L to R): idol activities, theater, coding, dance. Middle row (L to R): Matsuri (Japanese festival), Cross-cultural communication JP x EN, 60th birthday celebration, table games. Bottom row (L to R): Piloting airplanes, costume party, experiencing magic, childrearing advice

About NPO Virtual Rights

Mainly aiming to protect the rights of VR culture users and creators and disseminate VR culture, NPO Virtual Rights holds VR culture conferences and study groups with legislators and experts, organizes culture dissemination events, conducts research projects, and makes policy proposals to government agencies and Diet members. In March 2021, NPO Virtual Rights was certified and established as the first NPO in Japan to hold its inaugural meeting in a virtual space. As of August 2021, it has 450 members.

A scene from the NPO Virtual Rights launch party. It's safe to get together during the pandemic when it's in VR.


NPO Virtual Rights welcomes sponsorship from companies and organizations. Please contact them at contact@npovr.org if you're interested.

By - Ben K.