The Japanese robot

On our trips to Japan I always seem to come back with a couple of paper craft kits for these magical automata and I’ve just discovered that  they’re called karikuri からくり which means “mechanical”.   They’re probably a modern version of the Japanese animated dolls and puppets kamikuri ningyo からくり人形 that were popular back in Edo times.

This one is a robot kit I bought at Ito-ya, a great stationery store in Tokyo.  When you turn the handle his legs go up and down and his body and head wobble around. It required a 10 yen coin as a weight for the head – luckily we had one in the bundle of coins we brought home.

And I will never again complain about IKEA instructions. Assembling a Billy bookcase is a snap compared with constructing this little guy.

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3 responses to “The Japanese robot

  1. That’s very cute! 🙂

    There are some great printable papercraft projects available online too. Here’s one of my faves – http://tubbypaws.blogspot.com/2009/08/meow-again-its-time-for-papercraft.html

  2. Sally, thanks for the link!

    ps: If you’re ever in London you can visit the Cabaret Mechanical Theatre http://www.cabaret.co.uk/
    I got one of their wooden automata kits of a waggy tail dog.

  3. and more free papercraft kits from Canon http://cp.c-ij.com/en/contents/1006/

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