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News from Japan - January 12, 2022

Robot servers, piloted by disabled people
In Tokyo's Dawn café, robots piloted by people staying at home are serving coffee and food

It is in a business district of Nihonbashi, Tokyo, that you will find robots that serve customers of the  Dawn Café. The start-up Orihime has developed a technology that makes it possible to control these robots remotely to perform the service of this cafe, inconvenient.

This task is then carried out by people having difficulty leaving their homes, such as sick people, disabled people, the hikikomoris (generally men living in recluse at home and relying on their parents to survive), or even the elderly and mothers in foyer. This technology makes it possible to promote the professional integration of these 34 million Japanese forced to stay at home.

In the café, several types of robots: the largest for reception and table service, and the smallest which are placed on the tables and present dishes or make conversation with customers.

For those people, who only need an internet connection, it created a social contact, and made it possible to move freely and to work. They then move around the robot with a flick of an eyelash, finger or mouth, and can easily chat with customers using a front camera and microphone.

This is very important in a country like Japan, where even the elderly continue to work, for fear of feeling useless to society.

An employee, confined to her home because of heart problems, is delighted: “I am at home all day long. Thanks to this job, I meet people. It brightened up my daily life. ”

These employees are paid 1,000 yen (around 7.50 euros) per hour, the average salary for part-time odd jobs, or around 1,300 euros per month for 40 hours per week.


Japanese gym legend retires
The japanese gymnast Kōhei Uchimura is ending his carreer

World gymnastics legend Kōhei Uchimura of Japan announced the end of his career at the age of 33.

His record is impressive:
2008 Olympics: two silver medals
JO 2012: two silver medals + one gold medal
2016 Olympics: two gold medals
World Championships: 6 world championship titles in the all-around competition + 4 various titles

In all in his career: 15 gold, 11 silver and 6 bronze in all international competitions.

It was he who had achieved the unprecedented feat of becoming double Olympic champion of the 2012 and 2016 Games, a performance that did not been reached for over forty years.

More recently, he came to the Tokyo Games physically depressed, often tortured by injuries. This is where he failed during high bar qualifying, in his own country. For his last competition in Kitakyūshū, the city where he was born, he also failed to win.

Raised by gymnastic parents, he started the sport at age three. Sportsman revered in Japan for his exploits, he is also appreciated for his personality. He was especially talked about for his funny story at Rio 2016 when he was billed 500,000 yen (3,800 euros) in telephone charges, after playing Pokémon GO while in Brazil.

The satisfaction of kigumi, the ancestral Japanese art
Kigumi is a traditional art in Japan of wood assembling

Are you a fan of satisfying videos? The ones on the kigumi are perfect for you! An ancestral tradition of Japan, this assembly technique uses only pieces of wood. No need for nails, screws or glue.

This is how furniture, picture frames or other decorative items can be constructed. Better yet, the Japanese use kigumi for architecture. Thousands of temples and houses then rest on frames made using this method. They are therefore very resistant to earthquakes, which is, you can imagine, essential in the land of the rising sun.

This art mainly developed in the country with the arrival of Buddhism and the construction of Japanese Buddhist architecture.

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