Karakuri ningyō

Karakuri ningyō (からくり人形?) are mechanized puppets or automata from Japan from the 18th century to 19th century. The word ‘karakuri’ means a “mechanical device to tease, trick, or take a person by surprise”. It implies hidden magic, or an element of mystery. In Japanese ningyō is written as two separate characters, meaning person and shape. It may be translated as puppet, but also by doll or effigy. The dolls’ gestures provided a form of entertainment.

Three main types of karakuri exist: Butai karakuri (舞台からくり stage karakuri?) were used in theatre. Zashiki karakuri (座敷からくり tatami room karakuri?) were small and were played with in rooms. Dashi karakuri (山車からくり festival car karakuri?) were used in religious festivals, where the puppets were used to perform reenactments of traditional myths and legends.

They influenced the Noh, Kabuki and Bunraku theatre.Karakuri ningyō (からくり人形?) are mechanized puppets or automata from Japan from the 18th century to 19th century. The word ‘karakuri’ means a “mechanical device to tease, trick, or take a person by surprise”. It implies hidden magic, or an element of mystery. In Japanese ningyō is written as two separate characters, meaning person and shape. It may be translated as puppet, but also by doll or effigy. The dolls’ gestures provided a form of entertainment.

Three main types of karakuri exist: Butai karakuri (舞台からくり stage karakuri) were used in theatre. Zashiki karakuri (座敷からくり tatami room karakuri) were small and were played with in rooms. Dashi karakuri (山車からくり festival car karakuri) were used in religious festivals, where the puppets were used to perform reenactments of traditional myths and legends. They influenced the Noh, Kabuki and Bunraku theatre.


Kirsty Boyle has a great site about her Karakuri research

http://www.karakuri.info/

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4 Responses to Karakuri ningyō

  1. […] of das Unheimliche and is full of fantastic and unique examples of the aesthetic (like Karakuri ningyo), links to Machine art, and also references to uncanny […]

  2. Mike says:

    There’s a great Karakuri somersault doll kit at Japan Trend Shop for those who want to try this art form at home.

    http://www.kilian-nakamura.com/catalog/karakuri-somersault-doll-from-gakken-otona-kagaku-p-311.html

  3. […] Karakuri.info, Makezine, All on Robots, Mary Nowsky, Karakuri.com Tagged:clipsgeek outhistoryjapanmonster […]

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