Tones that resonate
in your heart.

This website plays background music on some pages.
Please enjoy the angelic sounds of the music box.

  • About Us

About Us

You may be wondering what is on display at the Nagamori Collection Gallery?
This gallery exhibits music boxes, automata dolls, player pianos, and other automatons.
Visitors can experience the enchanting movement of puppets and the delightful music box melodies in both the exhibition rooms and viewing lounge.


Director Hashizume

Director Hashizume is a guide here at the Nagamori Collection Gallery,but also an accomplished automata artist with a passion for wooden toys, picture books, board games, and puppet shows.


Violetta was created as a part of a collaboration between doll artist Mariko Wakatsuki and Nidec Instruments. This young girl adorned with violets is paying homage to the Waltzing Doll automata.

What kind of exhibits are on display?

Click on the number on the floor plan to see a description of the exhibit in the gallery.

  • 1

    Entrance Area

    The area is home to works that combine gear-based kinetic with visual expressions (Produced by Mr. Takahiro Matsuo, LUCENT Inc.).

  • 2

    The World of Automata

    Demonstration of unique various works, commentary on them, and hologram-based exhibits and displays are here to entertain visitors (holograms produced by Mr. Takahiro Matsuo, LUCENT Inc.).

  • 3

    Kinds and History of
    Music Boxes

    The types and history of music boxes are explained with a disassembled Swiss music box from the 1850s, carillon clocks, fob watches, and other rare materials.

  • 4

    Collection Storage

    Air-conditioned 24 hours a day every day, and thus kept optimum for the materials, this glass-walled storage showcases a collection of orderly placed music boxes.

  • 5

    Meister Workshop

    In addition to maintenance and repair of the Gallery’s collection by dedicated music box engineers, this workshop researches and develops new music boxes and automata.

  • 6

    Listening Lounge

    This lounge offers you a wonderful opportunity to enjoy, in a concert style, the Gallery’s collection of a variety of specially selected instruments, ranging from music boxes to gramophones to automatic piano players.

  • 7

    Music Box Showcase

    This showcase exhibits state-of-the- artworks produced in Japan, ranging from a piece born out of collaboration with a Kyoto-based traditional craft artist to music boxes clad with digital technology.

  • 8

    Multipurpose Room

    This room is used for various programs and workshops.The painting Waltzing Dolls and Guitar-Playing Clowns by Koji Kinutani is displayed on the main wall in the center of the room.

Question Corner

How do music boxes work?
In this corner, Director Hashizume will answer some of Violetta’s questions!


The oldest item in the collection?

What’s the oldest item that you have in your collection?

That would be the Glass Bell Carillon Clock.

Since it’s a clock, that means it tells time. So it’s not a music box, right?

You know quite a bit about clocks, don’t you, Violetta. While not a music box itself, this valuable resource holds significant historical insights into the world of music boxes.

How so?

Well, you see, music boxes were created based on clock technology and church bells helped form the foundation of the mechanism behind music boxes, Violetta. A bell with a musical scale is called a carillon, and most believe that the carillon marks the beginning of music box history.


What are gears?

There are so many gears in music boxes, but why is that?

That’s a great question! Gears have the ability to alter their speed and power output.Violetta, take a look at the gears. See how they turn at different speeds based on the size of the cog?

Yes, I do! Lots of gears are moving, but they all seem to be moving at different speeds.

Gears are not only used in music boxes, but you can also find them in automata and clocks as well.

I see! So in the old days, you needed gears to make the machines work, right?

Violetta, gears are still used in the 21st century, particularly in the motors that power all kinds of machines.

Wow, gears are amazing!


Do you have any unusual gears?

What’s that oddly shaped gear attached to the side of the box that holds the spring?

You’ve got quite the eye! If you look closely, you’ll find it on many different music boxes.

You’re right! It’s on this music box over here and that one over there!

Violetta, this mechanism is designed to prevent the mainspring from being over-wound. The mechanism, known as the Geneva stop, was invented in Geneva, Switzerland. When you turn the handle of A one full revolution, it causes the gear of B to turn 1/6th of a revolution. To achieve one rotation of B, you’ll need to make six rotations of A.

I get it now.Music boxes are made up of very complicated mechanisms.

That’s right.Over 100 years ago, dedicated engineers worked tirelessly to create the music box and fulfill people’s desire to enjoy music anytime and anywhere they pleased. Despite their complex appearance, each music box is composed of a combination of simple mechanisms. You can find a model of the mechanism on display in the gallery, so you can turn the handle and see it in action.