Monday, May 4, 2020

Mizukarakuri Ningyo at Toyotamahime Shrine

Karakuri Ningyo are a type of mechanical doll that was very popular in the Edo Period. A rarer form was the water-powered mechanical doll, an example of which I found at Toyotama Shrine in Chiran. Behind the glass case displaying this tableau was a small waterwheel that powered the figures' movements.

Unfortunately, it is only operated  for a few days during a festival. Every year a different set up is displayed. This one was about a local legend involving demons.

The shrine appears to be the main one for Chiran, and enshrines Toyotamahime, the "princess" who was a daughter of the Undersea King. The myth is very popular and many shrines in southern Kyushu enshrines the various characters from the story

There was no-one about as it was still early in the morning and I had to head off  and reach the coast before heading north on this my 35th day of walking around Kyushu.


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