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Automata in Japan -1

The representative model of Japanese Automata is the toy which brings a tea cup to a guest.  The characteristic behavior of the toy made Saikaku Ihara, great writer in the age of Edo in Japan, evaluate it the same as that of human being.

Not only Saikaku Ihara, many people also must be struck with wonder to see the sophisticated mechanism of the toy. 

The special distinctive feature of the small toy, of which the height is only 40cm, was the characteristic behavior of bringing the tea cup to a guest not only walking like as human.  

The toy is well known as“Tea cup bringing toy” even to many people who don’t know the world of Automata.

In 2002, the kit of Automata offered in the No.8 of “Science for the adult” (issued by Gakkenn) has attracted much attention of the readers and caught on well. 


The toy offered in the issue is one of the works shown in the book “kikou-zui “, but today there is not the ancient original model in that time.

The “Tea cup bringing toy” that we can see usually was restored by Mr. Shoji Tachikawa in 1967.  Although the book “kikou-zui“ instructs the use of spring and whiskers of whale as the power source of the movement of the toy, the steel spring is used in the restored toys.

(Ref. “Zusetu-Karakuri” issued by Kawade-shobou-shinsha )

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