Karakuri: amazing japanese automata

12 abril 2007

By the years when the great Jaquet-Droz was building his astonishing automata, Japan had developed their own mechanized puppets. These dolls, called Karakuri Ningyo, were built during Edo period (1603 to 1867) and were able to practice all kind of activities: serving tea, shooting or walking down the stairs. Take a look to some of the most interesting examples:

1. Writing karakuri:

This doll - very similar to our "writing automaton" - was built by Tanaka Hisashige in the 19th century and could write a complicated kanji character with an accomplished face expression.

2. Bow-shooting karakuri

This doll pulls an arrow out of the fan beside him, puts it to his bow, aims, and fires at a target. Amazing! (Take a look to the original).

3. Magician karakuri:

You must click to see the trick!

4. Karakuri serving tea:

5. Karakuri going down the stairs:

More info and sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5