|PAPERBACK EDITION JACKET|
The first image above shows the second edition, the paperback, with a cool surfing robot image by the famous artist Hajime Sorayama. The second image, below it, is the cover of the hardcase edition. It uses a photograph of a Toshiba ARI (Assembly Robot with Intelligence) robot shown trying to assemble some Lego block structure. It looks a tad puzzled, don't you think? Which coverdo you like best?
Inside the Robot Kingdom was published in 1988 by Kodansha International in hardcase, and in 1990 in paperback. To quote from the introduction,
"It is about robots and Japan, and in the larger sense, about technology and culture. Like most people, until recently my image of robots confused science fiction and real life. I have always been fascinated, however, by the way robots in all forms-- in fantasy and industry-- are so celebrated in Japan. Around the end of 1984, while touring some factories in the United States, and seeing so few industrial robots at work, I began to realize that "robots"-- in all their various forms-- can really be seen as a symbol of a larger relationship between people and technolgy. To understand why America was having trouble with robotization and other steps on the road to the twenty-first century, and why Japan seemed to be more successful, it would be necessary to look beyond the machine. This led to my interviewing people with all kinds of different connections with robots in both nations, touring factories, attending international conferences, and reading hundreds of books, magazines, and journals and, especially, the daily industrial newspapers of Japan."
Inside the Robot Kingdom was first published in hardback format in 1988. The paperback edition came out in 1990. In retrospect, it was one of the most ambitious projects I've ever undertaken, and the labor required gave me a lot of gray hair, but I learned a great deal about technology, automation, and their relationship to culture. Just assembling all the photographs and illustrations was terribly time-consuming. I'm proud to say that I drew the illustration of the robot assembly line on p. 36! Peter Goodman edited the book. The text design was by Eric Jungerman. For animation and manga fans, note that this book also has an entire chapter on robots of the imagination, as well as a chapter on the robot toy industry.
I feel very honored that this book was selected as "One of the best Sci-Tech books of 1988" by the prestigious Library Journal
Here's the book's
PART ONE: Introducing the Robot Kingdom and the Robot1 The Robot Kingdom
2 What is a Robot?
PART TWO: Before Industrial Robots: A State of Mind3 The First Japanese Robot
4 Robots of the Imagination
5 The Toy Robot Kingdom
PART THREE: After Industrial Robots: Building the Kingdom6 Japan Manufactures the Industrial Robot
7 An Empire of Yellow Robots
8 The Man-Machine Interface
9 Robots and the Wealth of Nations
PART FOUR: Beyond Industrial Robots10 Religion and Robots
11 Six Legs, Four Legs, Two Legs, or None?