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An improved multimedia database system is proposed. It consists of an image server (image servers), a directory server, and user terminals which are connected together through the Japanese gigabit networks (JGN). The image server stores high-definition still images of Japanese Kosode garments. The image directory compares the sketched image entered by the user with the index code of the index image using a new type of search engine so that the image retrieval is carried out using the sketched image. In accordance with the sample image resulting from the image retrieval, the high-definition image appears on the HDTV display corresponding to its obtained address. This accomplishment leads to merging of high-definition still images to the HDTV images on HDTV programs.