Mechanisms of a tea serving doll
The inner mechanisms of KARAKURI dolls are illustrated in "KARAKURI-ZUI", a machine book of the Edo era. The lower left diagram is a whole view of a tea serving doll in the "KARAKURI-ZUI", and the right diagram is an inner view. The inside of a real doll seems to have been made with a wood, a thread, and a whisker of a whale (materials of a spring).
A doll does the following movement:
- A spring is wound up first, and then a doll is in the state that stands still.
- If a master puts a tea cup on the tray which the doll supports, the doll will begin to advance and the legs of the doll begins to move forward and backward.
- If the doll comes in front of a visitor, the head of the doll will lean forward, that is, the doll bows.
- Then, if a visitor takes up a teacup, the doll will stop, and the leg motion will also stop.
- If a visitor drinks up tea and puts the teacup back on the tray again, the doll will rotate 180 degrees.
- Then, the doll stands with the head straight.
- The doll begins to advance toward the place where the master is, i.e., a starting point. The legs of the doll also move again forward and backward.
- If the doll comes back to the master and the master takes away an empty teacup from the tray, the doll will stop moving and the legs also.