Japan as “The Robot Kingdom”

In conjunction with our new exhibition, Japan’s Robot Kingdom, Morikami is proud to present a lecture featuring Frederik L. Schodt on the robots of Japan and their importance in pop-culture and beyond.


  • Cost: $10 for non-members, $7 for members
  • Advance ticket purchase required
  • Time: 7:15 (museum doors open at 6:00pm)
  • Tickets will be held at the door under your name
  • Please note that the Cornell Café and Gardens will be closed for the evening.
  • NOTE: Online sales will end at 4:30pm on June, 26, 2015. Tickets can be purchased at the door on the evening of the lecture.

Japanese are famous for their love of robots, and the media often refers to the country as “The Robot Kingdom.” In the postwar period, Japan was quick to introduce industrial robots into its manufacturing industries. Humanoid and cute pet robots also became an important part of Japanese fantasy in manga, anime and toys. Robots have become a romantic symbol of technological prowess, and a source of national pride.  In this illustrated and entertaining presentation, Schodt discusses what “The Robot Kingdom” really means, how it came to be, and challenges the industry has faced in recent years.


Frederik L. Schodt is a writer, translator, and conference interpreter based in the San Francisco area. He has written numerous books on popular culture, technology and history. He is the author of Inside the Robot Kingdom: Japan, Mechatronics, and the Coming Robotopia (1988) as well as The Astro Boy Essays: Osamu Tezuka, Mighty Atom, and the Manga/Anime Revolution (2007). In addition to his original works, Fred is the translator of Yoshiyuki Tomino’s Mobile Suit Gundam trilogy of novels, Osamu Tezuka’s entire Astro Boy manga series, and Masamune Shirow’s Ghost in the Shell and other robot-related manga stories.  In 2009, the Emperor of Japan awarded Schodt the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette for his work in introducing Japanese popular culture to North America. His latest book is Professor Risley and the Imperial Japanese Troupe: How an American Acrobat Introduced Circus to Japan—And Japan to the West, which won the Circus Historical Society’s Stuart Thayer Prize in 2013.