JAPAN SPECIAL: PART ONE
This week, Gareth Mitchell checks out the latest technology to hit Tokyo. He’s joined by Serkan Toto, Japan correspondent for Tech Crunch, the technology blog.
Japan leads the world in the field of robotics. There has been a massive investment by the government in automation for everything from healthcare, to home security.
At the Nippon Dental University Hospital in Tokyo, Prof Naotake Shibui even uses a robot called Simroid to train his students.
Armed with a dentists’ drill and a face mask, Gareth starts his dental training.
Nothing embodies the Japanese love of robots more than the statue that’s about to open in Oidaba, a reclaimed island in southern Tokyo.
It’s a giant statue of the famous anime robot Gundam. The 18m tall, 35 tonne figure has been built to mark the 30th anniversary of the TV series.
Gareth talks to ethnographer Patrick Galbraith, from the University of Tokyo, and author of The Otaku Encyclopaedia, about why Gundam is so popular.
AKIHABARA: ELECTRIC TOWN
Gareth takes a tour of Akihabara, or Electric Town, with technology consultant Steve Nagata.
Akihabara is the centre of ‘otaku’ or ‘geek’ culture in Tokyo. Here you can buy anything from spy cameras, to underground computer games.
Toilets in Japan are undoubtedly the most sophisticated in the world. None more so than the Intelligent Toilet Mark II, produced by Daiwa House.
This water closet not only measures your weight, body temperature and blood sugar, but it also plots a weekly graph of your health stats.
Gareth visits the little boys’ room, for a demonstration of the best in toilet technology.