Karakuri – Japanese Mechanized Automata Doll/Puppet

Japanese people would never stop to amaze me with their creativity. One particular one that intrigued me lately was Karakuri.

Karakuri (Karakuri Ningyo) was developed recently within the last 300 years (in the 1800s) by Japanese people as the embodiment of their robotic technology advances in the most traditional way. Karakuri is a mechanized automata doll/puppet that was designed in such a way to perform certain task without using any electricity.

Karakuri is basically used in three areas:

  • Butai karakuri (舞台からくり or stage Karakuri) is used in theater
  • Zashiki karakuri (座敷からくり or tatami room Karakuri) is small and mainly used at home
  • Dashi karakuri (山車からくり or festival car Karakuri) is used in religious festival

Here are some amazing Karakuri videos that I found around the net.

Karakuri in General

A Karakuri Shooting Arrows

A Karakuri Writes a Japanese Character

A Karakuri Serving Tea (Chahakobi Ningyo)

You can read more about Karakuri origins at http://www.karakuri.info/origins/index.html

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