In Japan, many trades, crafts, and arts were passed down from generation to generation inside a family, for hundred years. That’s the case of the karakuri dolls, traditional Japanese mechanized puppets, which were made by the Tamaya family in Nagoya for 9 generations, the present day master being the only one with this craftsmanship with a direct, uninterrupted lineage.
It is know that the first master learned this craft from Tsuda Tsukezaiemon, the master who replicated the first Western clock in Japan, which was owned by the shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu. Today, Tamaya Shobei IX creates and restores dashi karakuri dolls, automatons used for the parade festival floats, like the one photographed here in the Karakuri Museum, Inuyama.
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: