Japanese Worship Buddhist Robot at Ancient Shrine
Kyoto, Japan’s ancient former capital, is home to temples, shrines, and imperial gardens. As the birthplace of Japanese tradition, the city attracts some 53 million tourists every year.
Recently, the famed 400-year old Kodaiji Temple in Kyoto unveiled a modern makeover. The world’s first sutra-chanting android deity, modelled after Kannon the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy, was introduced to the public last week. Kannon is worshiped by thousands of temples in Japan as a deity who helps people in distress; now the country’s fascination with robotics has made its way into that worship.
Kodaiji Temple Administrator Tensho Goto wanted to spread the word of Buddhism to a younger generation losing touch with the tradition. He enlisted the help of pioneer Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro, head of intelligent robotics at Osaka University, who has made a name for himself in robotic research on the world stage.