Robot double: Hiroshi Ishiguro's reflexive machines

Yuji Sone*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter discusses Japanese roboticist Hiroshi Ishiguro's performance experiments with robotic machines (humanoid and android) as a case study for this book's theme, "the techno-self." Ishiguro's robots are highly sophisticated pieces of engineering intended to replicate human physical movement and appearance. In addition to claims relevant to robot engineering, for Ishiguro, these machines are reflexive tools for investigations into questions of human identity. In Ishiguro's thinking I identify what I call a "reflexive anthropomorphism," a notion of the self's relation to the other that is tied equally to Buddhism and Japanese mythology. Using concepts from Japanese studies and theatre and performance studies, this chapter examines one culturally specific way of thinking about concepts of the self and identity through Ishiguro's discussion of the human-robot relation.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of research on technoself
Subtitle of host publicationIdentity in a technological society
EditorsRocci Luppicini
Place of PublicationHershey, PA
PublisherIGI Global
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9781466622128
ISBN (Print)9781466622111
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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