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Robot for hire programmed to perform Buddhist funeral rites


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The robot has not yet been hired for a funeral.

nor will it be, who wants to make a farce of a funeral? these robots are a waste of time and now SB is desperate to find roles for it because it is worthless technology wasted on something that is not practical

3 ( +9 / -6 )

240,000 yen for a priest at a funeral? What is the source of the information? Some can afford and some cannot. We also pay for a "kaimyo" a name after the death.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Bye bye fake priest business!

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

At least Softbank and Nissei Eco pay taxes.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

It also cost less at 50,000 yen per funeral compared to more than 240,000 yen for a human priest.

It shouldn't even cost this much! And 240K for a human? Well now we know the "price" of a life!

5 ( +8 / -3 )

How touching.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Very interesting and funny too. This would provoke a lot of anger in many other places or be too unethical.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Love it... and the other day JT was asking people about how religious Japanese people are. Obviously they must not be that religious since they're willing to farm out religious ceremonies to a Robot.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

The real world is more and more becoming a caricature...

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Anyone's job can be replaced by a computer now.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

A funeral ceremony conducted by a plastic toy at the Life Ending Industry Expo; it kind of says a lot about the state of Japan right now...

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Pathetic! A tablet on wheels for your funeral ceremony, SB must be really desperate.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

How sad.... Shinto wedding, Buddhist funeral, now performed by robots. Truly spiritual.

8 ( +11 / -3 )


9 ( +10 / -1 )

Robots work more than humans and used to be scrap at the end. Ironically it will serve to Buddhist funeral for scrap robots.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Shinto wedding, Buddhist funeral, company for the old folk, robo-pacifier for the kids… and now we can 'meet' our deceased loved ones "as if they were really there"….


and etc and etc…. great! soon we won't need people at all…. welcome to the 21st century….

0 ( +2 / -2 )

At 240,000 Yen for a couple of hours work why would the priests need to seek part time work? A single funeral a month would keep a priest above the minimum wage!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Don't think these enlightened men/women are in it to earn above minimum wage more the spiritual bliss of 5, 10, 50 times the minimum wage, plus tax breaks. If they can buy 1 robot to do an obviously menial task it will free then up to visit Elderly people console them pray with then, for a fee of course. Pretty obvious.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I'd be quite tempted to have a robot priest at my funeral to inject some ironic humour into the event. A bit like Peter Sellars requesting "In The Mood" to be played at his, or people having rude words spelled out in flowers. 50,000 yen is too much though, so they'd have to come down a bit. For 50,000 yen, they'd have to put on a full show, like tapping out "We Will Rock You" on the holy cup and drum and doing the sutras in time with it.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

"Chanting sutras in a computerized voice while tapping a drum, the robot was on display on Wednesday at a funeral industry fair - the Life Ending Industry Expo - in Tokyo."

Never knew my beloved Japan has an industry that is dedicated to 'ending' the lives of people...

Reuters - the reporter and his/her editor alike - could have put (or translated) the original Japanese to read

"End-of-Life" instead, which would be more 'acceptable', if not more pleasant-sounding perhaps?

Less harsh.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

To be honest, I'd rather have that robot do my funeral than one of those greedy buddhist monks. 240,000 (or more, often much more) to chant for less than an hour? Then there's the "extended-warranty" scam of the Japanese funeral industry with the "kaimyo" (new name after death) which will be another few hundred thousand yen...

4 ( +4 / -0 )


Yep, and it isn't just Buddhist monks. The religious see grieving families as an easy target to extract a bit more cash from. When my father died, we sent these con artists packing in accordance with his wishes.

The kaimyo con is beyond laughable.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Funeral industry is such a scam, a co workers brother worked at a Funeral home? He was not allowed to travel overseas and apparantly had been trained in the secret art of burning a body and was sworn to secrecy about the whole thing. Are these robots aware of the Atherial secrets? When my wife's father died for 50,000 yen we could get a serving of Sushi, mistakenly I said I'd prefer pizza, then was informed it goes in the box to be consumed by the flames. They actually had a food menu for dead people.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

It almost reminds me of the Electric Monk in a Douglas Adams novel. They were built for busy people who didn't have time to believe in stuff.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

240000 Yen for a priest for the special occasion is nothing compared to how much a grave cost in Japan I am still paying for the grave

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Pretty sad.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yep "rental" of a grave? Are they going to move? My father in law downsized to an urn slightly smaller than his flat. Waiting for mum in law to expire (sounds heartless but not good condition). We want to put them together meaningless but in the sea or a river or under a tree the robot can join them. Chanting until the battery dies.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I see an Annabelle sequel here........

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Great! Now all I need is a robot to go to the temple, throw some money in the box and pray for me!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

How very spiritual.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I need a black robot to substitute for me, as I hate attending funerals. It will be programmed to say "Makoto ni zannen de gozaimasu while making a mournful expression and hand out a koden envelope of incense money.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Death is a very sad time for all, and some time you need a bit of compassion, humility, sensitivity, and some time, that can be given by a priest, monk. this sort of compassion and comfort, CAN NOT be given out by a robot, its cold, unhumanised, uncaring nature, heartless, soulless, its cold as an iceberg. and what about when its cold and snowing? how will soulless box get to the grave side? is it wireless? (WiFi) could it be hacked into? one minute its chanting a sutra's then its linked into the local taxi company, or a drive trough foodchain, or it could start belting out a AKB48 song, burring a loved one is tough and emotional at any time, and then to have it wrecked by a robot, well its just so wrong on so many levels, the only thing that should be buried is these robots!!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

the only thing that should be buried is these robots!!

Call a priest to preside over the ceremony and see if he tries to flog you a kaimyo.

Bring your credit card.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Wow, Pepper's copping a spray from most JT readers!

Let's not forget his skills & areas of expertise include, but are not limited to: collecting funeral donations, help carry the casket (if applicable), clean up before and after the ceremony, a reliable -albeit insensitive- shoulder to cry on. pretty good bargain for only 50,000 yen.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm not religious but I find this idea crass in the extreme.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Please don't do this. It's just not right. Depressing to say the least.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I don't know which is more disturbing: a "robot" priest in lieu of a human priest to perform the service, or a human priest who is insensitive and uncaring that he can't or won't be bothered to be available when needed and prefers to send a robotic proxy. 

If the use of robot "priests" become popular among the priesthood community, why bother having priests? 

Using a robot "priest" in lieu of a human being is very dehumanizing, insensitive and callous to say the least. Especially under these circumstances.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Robots, priests, wizards. It's all the same to me; when I'm brown bread, I'm brown bread. I'm not going to care what happens after that. It's a vanity to be worrying over what happens when you shuffle off this mortal coil.

Life; that's what the focus should be on.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

OK, so the local priest banging on a Drum also cares for you too... ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Perhaps, this makes a mockery of Religion ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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