“Automata Exhibition”


by Tomohiro Osaki

Staff Writer

During the 19th century, France saw a boom in the popularity of mechanical dolls known as automatons. With mechanisms originally created for music boxes, artisans made the dolls using technology that developed during the Industrial Revolution. Because they appeared to move by themselves, they quickly captivated the heart of the French public.

This exhibition showcases 25 automatons, all of which visitors can watch in motion. One appears to be smoking, another blows bubbles, and another can even perform headstands. Sadly, this museum will be closing permanently in May next year, so this could be the last opportunity to see the dolls in action; till Nov. 10.

The Museum of Mechanical Musical Instruments; (03) 3941-0008; 3-25-14 Mejirodai, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo; Gokokuji Station, Yurakucho Line.10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. ¥2,000. Closed Sun, Mon. www.musemuse.jp/Musemuse_home.htm .