sakonbio.jpg (18893 bytes)


(name means "Left")
Seiyuu: Megumi Ogata

the puppet

(name means "Right")
Kumai Motoko

ukonbio.jpg (17554 bytes)

Sakon is the sixteen-year-old grandson of the famous Bunraku master, Tachibana Saemon. He is incredibly shy and lacks confidence in himself. However, when he is with his puppet, Ukon, he is able to focus himself and his crime-solving abilities. As a contrast to traditional Bunraku puppeteering (where a chanter called a Tayuu provides the voices) Sakon is an expert ventriloquist. He uses his talent of mimicing and throwing voices to confront the villians and often force a confession.

Ukon is a beautiful Buraku puppet created in 1870, supposedly by the Master puppet-builder Unosuke Koizumi III. But Ukon doesn't act as a good Bunraku puppet should. When he is with Sakon, he is forward, obnoxious, flirtatious, coarse, and very egocentric. He smokes a long-stemmed pipe, called a kisera, and has a love of torturing Sakon's aunt Kaoruko.


sakonchart.jpg (23722 bytes)

Hair colour:
In anime, green hair is most often seen on quite, shy, or level-headed characters.

Sakon's collar is shaped like gears.  The Kanji of the series' title is usually used for "Ningyo" (doll or puppet) but can also be read as "Karakuri.", which can refer to clockwork dolls or trick puppets.

They look cool and probably protect the forearms from stress when puppeteering.  He also wears them with short sleeves too.


Hair colour:
In anime, red hair is usually given to the outspoken and uncouth characters.  This stems from fieldworkers whose hair would bleach a reddish colour from working long hours in the sun.  Also, most everyone notices the similarity Ukon has to Himura Kenshin in this department.  Watsuki, the creator of Rurouni Kenshin, was an assistant to Obata (Sakon's artist) in his earlier days.  (thanks to The Go Institute for this info)

The collar with tufts that Ukon wears over his jacket is called a Yuigesa.   This is traditionally work by Yamibushi, Japanese mountain monks.  It has been said that Yamibushi have been known to possess certain unorthodox traits shared by a certain puppet...

ukonchart.jpg (22085 bytes)

Traveling clothes:
Sakon doesn't have a much of a varied wardrobe.  When stage performing or 'summoning' the dead, he wears a kamishimo, the traditional clothes worn by a master puppeteer.   His sleeves do get shorter in the warmer seasons, and he has a Victorian style sleeved cloak (called a greatcoat) for the colder seasons.

Jointed Fingers:
Bunraku puppets' hands vary depending on the role and demands of the puppet fitted with them.  The mulitple joint system developed at the height of technical advancement in the Bunraku theatre.  In some shots, you will also see a grip extending from Ukon's wrist.  This is used by the puppeteers to better control a hand's movement when grasping objects.

Hakama, Tabi, Geta:
These are all tradional Japanese dress.  Hakama are worn by many, but you will probably notice them more on priests, miko, or samurai in most anime.  Tabi are split-toe socks, geta are the wooden clogs.

Note:  A great many hours went into researching this information, especially that for Ukon. 
You are welcome to use it but a friendly nod or mention is always appreciated!   Thank you!

Clockwork Voices: Karakuri Zoushi Ayatsuri Sakon
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