Also known as “竹蜻蜓” in chinese & “take-tombo” in japanese is an age-old Chinese toy. By turning the vertical bamboo stick with both hands, the bamboo dragon fly will rotate and fly into the sky, with the horizontal piece serving as something like a propeller. It won’t fall until the elevating force diminishes.

Sections of a bamboo-copter consisting of a horizontal bar with a small hole in the middle and a straight bamboo stick inserted in the hole.

As seen on famous japanese childhood cartoon character, Doraemon.

Video of how kids interact with the bamboo-copter


The Chinese made bamboo dragonflies capable of flying way back in 500 BC. For over 2,000 years, the bamboo dragonfly has been the toy of Chinese children. It was introduced to Europe in the 18th century, providing inspiration for the invention of helicopters. Sir George Cayley of Briton, called the “Father of Aviation”, was fascinated with bamboo dragonflies all his life.

reported by Kiera

2 Responses to “Bamboo-Copter”
  1. Christine Echtner says:

    I am interested in the origin of the Chinese bamboo dragonflies image. We would like to use it in an exhibition. Do you know the name of the artwork or where it is originally is from?

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