Doraemon is a perfect ambassador of technology, creativity and innovation in post World War II Japan. Along with other fictitious characters introduced after the war like Atomu and GojiraDoraemon assumed the role of an entertainer and companion for a new generation of Japanese. While Gojira was a nuclear age mutant who demonstrated how science could turn on us, Doraemon (like Atomu) offers a more hopeful and benign version of technology. Doraemon exemplifies the strong potential of user-friendly consumer technology. By creating a character with backstory ties to Japanese culture and tradition, and a cute and non-threatening demeanor, Doraemon was quickly entered the lives of many families throughout Japan and Asia. His legacy still flourishes today as he begins to cross the Pacific, telling his tales of great adventure, and realizing the dreams of many children with the power of technology.


Doraemon exemplifies the strong potential of user friendly consumer technology.

World War II can be seen not only as a war waged between men, but as a battle of man against technology. The world war exposed Japan to the sheer power and potential of technology. In the west, nations like America were using the war as tinder to fuel new innovations and push towards futuristic, powerful technology that they were creating. In this case, the technology was eventually used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, creating devastation for the Japanese. This left people with mixed feelings about a technology revolution. Films like Gojira really pushed to make the public think about technology through a moral lens.


Technology can be used for violence and destruction, so does it also have the potential to be used for peace and creation?

At the time, manga (and anime) artists like Osamu Tezuka were pushed to use their medium to stress a peaceful future, where Japanese science and technology were advanced and nuclear power was used for peaceful purposes. Using animation, artists were able to reach a mass audience and the younger generations in order to relay the idea that the power of atom can be a friend to a human with a good heart. This means that if used in the right way, by someone with a good heart, technology can create and better the lives of many, instead of being a weapon. The characters that these animators created (Atomu, Doraemon, Mobile Suit Gundam etc) all came to be symbols of the confidence and hope that people place in technology, as a protector they can rely on, and as a tool for rebirth to be used to shape a better future. In contrast to the nuclear age mutants like Gojira and GameraAtomu and Doraemon represented innocent and optimistic ideas of technological innovation rather than their darker sides.


The power of atom can be a friend to a human with a good heart


Doraemon is a robotic cat sent back from the 22nd century by Nobita’s grandson. Playing into already existing ideas about familial honor, Doraemon has a relatable mission, as he is sent to whip Nobita into shape to save his family’s legacy so that his grandson can lead a better life. This would strike a chord with most of the audience, as they are forward thinking, and think altruistically about how their actions can help their own descendants. The interesting idea is that Doraemon himself is a piece of technology. There was deliberate design in not choosing to make him just a cute cat from the future, but a robot himself! It was able to spread the idea that robots are your friends and that Doraemon the robot has come to help Nobita out. Doraemon is able to integrate very well into Nobita’s normal Japanese household, as his best friend, brother or pet. This creates a positive association and closeness to technology in the viewers, healing their confidence with science and technology.

On a global scale, it is interesting to note the positive reception of Doraemon’s emphasis on science and technology. In countries like India, where pre-existing local cartoons programming for children is heavily based on mythical, historical or religious themes, having a character like Doraemon who is able to have amazing adventures and “super powers” of his own solely with the power of technology has been well received by many. Many appreciate the shift in entertaining their children in a more future oriented way, while also educating them about the potentials of science and technology, hoping that their children will gain a subconscious interest and eventually pursue further education in those fields.