This 400-year-old temple in the deeply traditional Japanese city of Kyoto has introduced a deity to deliver Buddha’s teachings in a bid to reach younger generations of Japanese.
The merged of modern and traditional perspective in one.
The Android Kannon, based on the traditional Buddhist deity of mercy, delivered its first teachings at Kodaiji temple on Saturday and is due to start preaching to the public in March, says report.
The robot priest was developed at a cost of Y100 million (£692,000).
Furthermore, the robot is a joint project between the Zen temple and Hiroshi Ishiguro, a professor of intelligent robotics at Osaka University.
The temple approached Professor Ishiguro and asked him to design a humanoid robot that can communicate the Buddha’s teachings in a way that is easy to understand and in a manner that “helps give peace of mind to trouble people”, the Asahi newspaper reported.
“Buddhism spread phenomenally around the world with the emergence of Buddhist images”, Tensho Goto, a priest at the temple, told the Asahi. “We are hoping that the Android Kannon will help Buddhist teachings reach the hearts of people today.
“We want many people to come and see the robot and to think about the essence of Buddhism”.
According to the temple, the Buddhist deity of mercy is able to transform itself at will in order to help humans, and an android kannon is merely the latest incarnation.