Karakuri Dolls – Japanese Old Mechanical Dolls


This Japanese Karakuri (mechanical) doll was made between 1840 to 1850 by Hisashige Tanaka (1799-1881)who is also known as “Karakuri Giemon”.

He is one of the founders of what later became Toshiba Corporation.



As you can see, the doll can perform calligraphy with brush and ink.

This is called a masterpiece of karakuri dolls in the Edo period and highly appreciated because unlike writing with a pen, brush stroking is very sensitive, but the creator succeeded to make it act smoothly.

Another masterpiece made by Hisashige Tanaka is “Yumihiki Douji (Archery Boy)” which designed about 160 yeas ago.




The doll actually shoots at a target!

By the way, the little boy winding a wheel is cute too! (He is in the box.)


Japan is often called “a robot country” but these dolls may be the roots of the culture.



This is JAPAN Style!


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