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Mechanical Dolls from Japan and the West

Rokko International Musical Box Museum is atop Mount Rokko in Hyogo Prefecture and houses various historical automata from Japan and Europe. For this exhibition, it displays of clockwork figures and music boxes, including traditional karakuri-ningyo (Japanese mechanical puppets), contemporary ecrivain (letter-writing dolls) by the Swiss artisan Michel Bertrand, Edo Period (1603-1868) Japanese tea-serving dolls and an archer that actually shoots arrows. Each exhibit is also accompanied by some information on the history of the piece and the craftmanship behind it.

Of course, you will likely want to see these figures in action, so stick around for one of the 15-minute demonstrations, which take place seven times a day and don’t forget the museum also has an impressive collection of music boxes. (Yuki Yamauchi)

“Mechanical Dolls from Japan and the West” takes place in Rokko International Musical Box Museum, which is a 7-minute bus ride form Rokko Sanjo Station. For more information, visit the website.