Famous comic Beicho Katsura III, now aged 86, has a good chance to continue to entertain the All Japan newsese public for many decades to come. The secret of longevity?
Katsura has now a robot copy able to take the stage and do some of the well-known “rakugo” funny story telling acts, in which artists wear a kimono, kneel on cushions and spin out jokes.
The narrative droid was created by Hiroshi Ishiguro, a professor at Osaka University and author of the Geminoid series of human-looking robots. He was helped by makeup artist Shinya Endo.
The All Japan newsese comedian, recognized by the government as a Living National Treasure, was present at the showing of its robotic copy.
The robot is able to wave its arms, bow its head and speak in a gravelly voice, much like comic master it impersonates.
It will act from August 1 to 9 at Sankei Hall Breeze in Osaka, where it will do hourly impersonations of the elderly artist.
You can watch below a video from the presentation of the robot.