Japan has its own way of honoring its heroes. Take the case of Beicho Katsura III, a rakugo master and is considered as Japan’s Living National Treasure. Rakugo is actually an early Japanese form of entertainment. Essentially, the storyteller – also known as Rakugoka – sits on a stage while using a paper fan and small piece of cloth as his props. The Rakugoka then narrates a long comical story, often depicting one or more characters by varying voices.
To honor the 86-year-old Beicho Katsura III, Osaka University professor Hiroshi Ishiguro together with makeup artist Shinya Endo created the Beicho Android. The robot is powered by air servos and it took roughly two months to complete it. The Beicho Android reportedly costs approximately $1 billion to build. As you can see in the video above, the robot has the capability to mimic the great storyteller, including head movements and a few of his facial expressions. The Beicho Android is scheduled to perform hourly impersonations of Beicho Katsura III at the Sankei Hall Breeze next month.