Friday, December 7, 2007

Puppet that serves tea

Room puppets were toys of Japanese lords and rich merchants during the Edo period. The tea-serving puppet (Chahakobi Ningyo) was designed to bring tea to guests. It was used as kind of encouragement to get the conversation going.
The host places a tea cup on the tray held by the doll and that way activates its mechanism to move it forward. The puppet stops when the guest picks up the tea cup, lifting the weight from the tray. When the cup is put back on the tray, the doll turns around and walks back to its starting position.

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