Novelist Sōseki Natsume Will Return From the Grave As Teaching Android
posted on by Lynzee Loveridge
Perhaps the strangest turn in Japan's focus in android is reanimation of the deceased. 100 years after his death, acclaimed novelist Sōseki Natsume will rise again an instructor at Nishogakusha University. The University is marking its 140th anniversary by hiring a robotic Natsume to teach classes at is alma mater.
Award-winning robotics researcher and Osaka University professor Hiroshi Ishiguro, the creator of the Otonaroid newscaster and Geminoid F movie star androids, is collaborating on the project. Currently the goal is to have android Natsume recite his works and Chinese poems. The university hopes the android will foster interest in reading and literature among its students.
Natsume's own family is also participating in the project. His grandson Fusanosuke Natsume will provide the android's voice. The Asahi Shimbun newspaper, the publisher of some of Natsume's works, is also lending the novelist's death mask to help recreate his face.
Natsume's works include Kokoro, Botchan, and I Am a Cat. Botchan was adapted into two anime specials, one by TMS Entertainment in 1980 and the other by Nippon Animation in 1986. Kokoro was adapted into episode seven and eight of the Aoi Bungaku anime series.
Nishogakusha University plans to have Natsume begin reciting his works by next April with a lecture planned for October.