In January of 1995, the port city of Kobe was ravaged by a powerful earthquake and fire which left over 6000 people dead and thousands more injured. Over the last seventeen years the city has recovered.
Now, a heroic figure rises up out of a newly rebuilt city neighborhood: Tetsujin-28, an 18-meter metal robot sculpture. This is a life-size replica of a beloved anime character created in 1963. (known as Gigantor in the U.S.)
Kobe citizens are not alone in their love for robots, both real and imagined. Many Japanese have a special fondness for mechanical humanoids.
Government, academic and scientific institutions, along with industry leaders are investing time and money in developing the technology to create a humanoid robot workforce. This extraordinary development is fueled by more than the simple motivation of an aging population and the lack of younger workers.
“J, Robot” explores Japan’s unique cultural attitudes, artistic sensibilities and technological differences that might make their robotic leap possible.