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:

  1. A spring is wound up first, and then a doll is in the state that stands still.
  2. 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.
  3. If the doll comes in front of a visitor, the head of the doll will lean forward, that is, the doll bows.
  4. Then, if a visitor takes up a teacup, the doll will stop, and the leg motion will also stop.
  5. If a visitor drinks up tea and puts the teacup back on the tray again, the doll will rotate 180 degrees.
  6. Then, the doll stands with the head straight.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

Main mechanisms: