• Masahide Matsuda

Sazae Bot (2010–17)

Sazae Bot is a Twitter bot, mainly active on Twitter in Japan. It is a parody-bot avatar of the most famous Japanese manga, Sazae-san written and illustrated by Machiko Hasegawa.

This avatar is known as an entertainment bot, mainly due to its jokes. However, it is also a media art that depicts universal reality with some elements of critical thinking. The avatar itself is the continuous “incident” that occurs from mutual relationships between become memes of thoughts.

In 2010, Sazae Bot started as a bot on Twitter, copying and pasting phrases found from various posts around the Internet. Soon after it started, it was heavily criticized for its Internet moral problems. After such an occasion, it updated as an avatar that posts original tweets from the favorited and the retweet data it had collected. The original tweets immediately touched people’s hearts, and became extremely popular, which led to the upgrade of the bot to become the avatar that holds occasional events.

In 2014, a personification of Sazae Bot’s operator, Nakano-Hito, was born. It is an anonymous aggregation of human consciousness that does not own a body, so it appears in front of people in the form of a mannequin or a costume. This way, its anonymity is always protected. Currently, the bot is open to the public, and is mainly operated by the Google forum, where anyone can tweet from Sazae Bot’s account anonymously.