Robots Seen from the Perspectives of Japanese Culture, Philosophy, Ethics and Aida (betweenness)

  • NAKADA Makoto Email author
Part of the Tetsugaku Companions to Japanese Philosophy book series (TCJP, volume 1)


It is often said that ethical discussion on robots, robotics and HRI (human-robot-interaction) is poor in Japan. However, this is only a superficial response. Although topics such as “autonomy (of robots)” or “responsibility (of robots)” are not “hot” topics, Japan is a country where different views on robots are commonly accepted. These views are often based on cultural and social traditions. In this chapter, we focus on Japanese robots and their philosophical and ethical backgrounds, examining the discussions by the authors such as Nishida Kitarō, Watsuji Tetsurō, Yuasa Yasuo and Ichikawa Hiroshi. In contrast to the Western views based on the separation of the subject and the object or the mind and the body, Japanese authors often talk about “oneness,” i.e. the undifferentiated situation of entities, things and humans in this world. We will try to see how we can understand Japanese robots, their kokoro 心 (mind including human-like sensitivity to things) and their mi 身 (body) by this kind of cultural, ethical and philosophical views based on the authentic state of oneness of the subject and the object, the humans and the rest of entities in the world.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of Humanities and Social SciencesUniversity of TsukubaTsukubaJapan

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