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The Japan Information and Culture Center, Embassy of Japan Presents:

The World of Karakuri Robots
A lecture by Yoshikazu Suematsu Dean of the Toyota National College of Technology
Demonstration by Shoubei Tamaya IX Karakuri doll maker 
Date : Thursday December 6 , 2007
Time : 18.30hrs
Venue : Japan Information and Culture Center, Auditorium, Embassy of Japan, 3 Lafayette Center,1155 21PstP St NW・Washington DC 20036

Karakuri is a Japanese word meaning a mechanism or contraption to trick or surprise.  Karakuri dolls are the original robots of Japan.  Made to look like traditional Japanese dolls, the Karakuri dolls are anything but ordinary.  Karakuri dolls are constructed with simple clock work mechanisms inside that allow them to perform simple tasks and movements such as walking, negotiating stairs or even shooting an arrow.  These dolls are used to perform plays, as toys, and larger versions are used on floats in festival parades. 

The art of Karakuri robot making dates back to the Edo period.  Some of the originators of Karakuri include Hisashige Tanaka, founder of the Toshiba Corporation.

Dean Suematsu will also be lecturing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Karakuri robots and will return in February to the Kennedy Center to once again speak on these marvels of ancient technology.  He is also the founder and director of the Suematsu Robotics Laboratory.   

Shoubei Tamaya IX is the latest of a long line of Karakuri makers.   His family has crafted Karakuri for over 260 years.  His works have been featured in the famous Inuyama festival which includes 36 floats adorned with large and complicated Karakuri dolls. 

This event is free and open to the public.
Reservations are required.

For more information and reservation, please email to:
Japan Information and Culture Center
Embassy of Japan, Washington DC 20036

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