“What Doraemon, the Earless Blue Robot Cat from the 22nd Century, Can Teach Us About How Japan’s Elderly and Their Human Caregivers Might Live with Emotional Care Robots.”





Japan, robots, eldercare, Doraemon, structural analysis, anime


While immense literatures examine aging and robots in Japan separately, reality has not yet reached the point where robotic care for the elderly can be examined comprehensively.  Disciplining imagination with method, structural analysis of the popular Japanese children’s animation series Doraemon, in which a slightly defective blue robot cat sent from the 22nd century becomes the helper and companion to a similarly slightly defective ten-year-old boy, lets us peer into one possible future of this nexus. If Japan’s robotics engineers would consider Doraemon as a plausible model for a socially assistive robot (SAR), their result might replace today’s fraught, infantilizing relationships with youthful, elder-focused care relationships.

Author Biography

Robert C. Marshall, Western Washington University

Department of Anthropology Emeritus Professor


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