Japan Clay-doll Museum

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Visit date - 07/16/2016
Edit date - 03/29/2020
revision - 05/06/2020

This museum showcases Clay-dolls from all over Japan.
Some of Clay-dolls is not currently being made due to lack of successors and other reasons.
This museum exhibits Clay-dolls very neatly organized and easy to appreciate.

This is a brief description of the creation process of Clay-Dolls.

This is a Clay-dolls for customers to use in their Clay-dolls painting experience.

Clay-dolls is an ancient Japanese traditional craft doll.
After molding the clay, bake it on low heat.
The Clay-dolls is the one that colored the baked doll.
Clay-dolls was first made and sold in Fukakusa, Kyoto in the early 19th century.
These were called Fushimi dolls, and they spread throughout Japan.

Where good quality soil is harvested, Clay-dolls is made.
In urban areas where anti-waste paper is often found, Hariko is made.
Sawdust is available in the areas where wood products are made, so they make kneading dolls.
These dolls were connected to the local character of each place and were involved in the annual events with the joys, sorrows, prayers and wishes of the local people.

The demand for these dolls increased after the middle of the Edo period (1681-) as the lives of the common people became more stable and the standard of living increased.
Furthermore, with the advent of the Kitamae-ship, the production of dolls and the supply of dolls to various parts of Japan increased further.

It is said that the three major Clay-dolls in Japan are Fushimi doll in Kyoto, Koga doll in Nagasaki, and Tsutsumi doll in Miyagi.

Fushimi dolls from Kyoto Prefecture.

It is said that Fushimi dolls originated in the Warring States period (around 1490).
Initially, there was no Clay-Dolls.
Since the Inari Shrine in Fushimi was a spirit of farming, visitors to the shrine took the soil here and sowed it in their own fields.
By doing so, they were praying for a good harvest.

Later, residents living in the vicinity of the Fushimi Inari Shrine began to roll up the soil and sell it to worshippers.
In addition, he said, he began using that soil to make Dorei and Clay-Dolls.

And the Fushimi dolls of Kyoto Prefecture became the origin of Clay-dolls in various parts of Japan.

Tohoku area.

Tohoku and Shinetsu areas.

Shitakawara dolls from Aomori Prefecture.

In the Edo period, the feudal lord of Mutsu Hirosaki was concerned about the lack of children's toys in Tsugaru.
For this reason, he ordered a Clay-dolls to be made and called it the Shitakawara clay doll.

Aomori dolls from Aomori Prefecture.

Aomori's clay dolls are said to have been born between the Meiji and Taisho periods (1868-1926) under the influence of the Shimogawara dolls, and then developed.

Hanamaki dolls from Iwate Prefecture.

The Hanamaki dolls is said to have been born during the Kyouhou period (1716-1735).
The origin of Hanamaki dolls is said to be Tsutsumi dolls from Sendai and Fushimi dolls from Kyoto.

Kosaka dolls in Akita Prefecture.

Kosaka dolls was born from the Hanamaki doll.
It was treasured as a talisman for the workers at the local mine.
But around 1965, the artisans who made it ceased to exist.

Nakayama dolls in Akita Prefecture.

It started when a potter from Saga Prefecture moved to Akita Prefecture and opened a kiln.

Yabase dolls from Akita Prefecture.

A puppeteer from Fushimi, Kyoto, opened a kiln in Nabeko-yama, Akita City around 1772-1788.
It is said that the baking of dolls there was the beginning of the Yabase doll.

Tsutsumi dolls from Miyagi Prefecture.

Tsutsumi dolls originated from Tsutsumi ware around 1688-1704.
Tsutsumi dolls, along with Kyoto's Fushimi dolls, are the two main streams of origin and are considered to be the pinnacle of local dolls.

Tsutsumi dolls are like a three-dimensional version of ukiyoe.
All of the earthen dolls from Hanamaki, Yonezawa, and Takata, known as toys in the Tohoku region, are thought to have been derived from Tsutsumi dolls.

Uodogawara original dolls from Yamagata Prefecture.

The Udogawara dolls are said to be based on the Fushimi dolls brought by the Kitamae-ship.
Udogawara dolls were being produced by the end of the Edo period (1853-1869).

Sakata dolls from Yamagata Prefecture.

Sakata dolls is said to have been created by a founder in the late Edo period (1853-1869).
The Clay-dolls is called Udogawara dolls, but it was spun off and evolved into Sakata dolls.

Sagara dolls from Yamagata Prefecture.

Sagara dolls was created when an official of the Yonezawa clan learned the technique of making pottery for the clan's finances.
Clan officials, influenced by the Fushimi and Tsutsumi dolls, created the Clay-dolls in the original dolls mold.
And Clay-dolls was named "Sagara Dolls" with the surname of a clan official.

Tsuruoka dolls from Yamagata Prefecture.

It is said that Tsuruoka dolls began making Clay-dolls in the first year of the Meiji era (1868-) as an extra-skill for kawara craftsmen.

Aizu Nakayukawa dolls from Fukushima Prefecture.

Aizu Nakayugawa dolls is a Clay-dolls with a short history which the present artist moved to Nakayugawa from 1972 and started in 1982.

Nagahama dolls in Fukushima Prefecture.

Nagahama dolls is Clay-dolls which the present author moved to Iwaki in 2005, lived, and began to make at the foot of the mountain of Yunodake in 2007.
Therefore, Nagahama dolls may think that the history is shallow, but this Clay-dolls is based on Nagahama dolls of Shimane Prefecture that inherits the tradition of 300 years.

Sado dolls from Niigata Prefecture.

Clay-dolls was made on Sado Island in Yahata, Kubota, ebisu, and elsewhere on the island, but most of them are out of existence.
Sado dolls is a revival of those abolished Clay-dolls traditions.

Suibara (Yamaguchi) dolls from Niigata Prefecture.

Suibara dolls have a history of about 150 years.
Mizuhara dolls is a Clay-dolls influenced by Fushimi dolls.

Murakami (Ohama) dolls from Niigata Prefecture.

There was an artisan who migrated to Murakami from Ohama, Aichi Prefecture around 1818-1830.
The Clay-dolls that the craftsman started to make is Murakami dolls.

Nakano dolls from Nagano Prefecture.

There are two types of Clay-dolls in Nakano, where the "Japan Clay-dolls Museum" is located.
Clay-dolls produced by the Nara family began in the late Edo period (1853-1869) and originated in Fushimi dolls.

The pictures from here are Fushimi dolls on the left and Nakano Clay-dolls made by the Nara family on the right.

The photo from here is the Nakano Clay-dolls made by the Nara family.

Another Clay-dolls in Nakano is a Clay-dolls made by the Nishihara family. We call them Tategahana dolls.
Tategahana dolls is a Clay-dolls that began in the Meiji era (1868-1912) under the guidance of tile makers in Aichi Prefecture.
I'm making Clay-Dolls, which is mainly about Kabuki.

This is a Clay-dolls made by local people, which was exhibited at the Nakano Creative Clay-dolls Exhibition.

Narai Clay-dolls from Nagano Prefecture.

Narai Clay-dolls is a clay-dolls made by an artist who came back to Narai, Nagano Prefecture from Tokyo in 1976.

Hokuriku and Kanto area.

Kanto area.

Toyama Clay-dolls from Toyama Prefecture.

Toyama Clay-dolls originated when the feudal lord of Toyama called Nagoya potters to Toyama and built a kiln in 1848-54.
The potter's son started making Toyama Clay-dolls.

Imado dolls in Tokyo.

Imado dolls is a Clay-dolls made by Imado ware.
I don't know when Clay-dolls began to be made in Imado ware.
However, an Imado Clay-dolls from the second half of the 18th century has been confirmed.

Shibahara dolls from Chiba Prefecture.

Shibahara dolls is based on the Imado dolls in Tokyo.
Shibahara dolls have been made since the early Meiji era (1868-1881).

Shimousa Clay-dolls from Chiba Prefecture.

This museum introduces the Shimousa Clay-dolls as Kashiwa dolls.
Shimousa Clay-dolls is a dolls that has no original shape and is made by hand kneading.
As a result, the Shimousa Clay-dolls are not uniform and each one has its own personality.

This is Okamura Tenjin, which is available at Okamura Tenmangu Shrine in Kanagawa Prefecture.
Since Okamura Tenjin resembles the shape that cut a watermelon, it is also called watermelon Tenjin.
Okamura Tenjin was started by a dolls maker in the late Taisho period (1926-).

Tokai area.

Tokai and Kinki area.

Takayama Clay-dolls (Yamada ware) from Gifu Prefecture.

Yamada ware is the origin of Takayama Clay-dolls.
Since the opening of the Yamada ware kiln in 1764-1772, Hida people have been making miscellaneous wares, architectural wares, and tea ware for their daily lives.
Takayama Clay-dolls is a unique Clay-dolls made with the Yamada ware technique.

Ichihara Clay-dolls from Gifu Prefecture.

Ichihara Clay-dolls were first made in the middle of the Meiji era (1868-1912), based on the original models of Inuyama Clay-dolls and Mikawa Clay-dolls from Aichi Prefecture.
Ichihara Clay-dolls are relatively large kabuki figures, many of which are historical figures, and the patterns on their kimonos are detailed.

Hime Clay-dolls from Gifu Prefecture.

Hime Clay-dolls was established in 1935 by a craftsman from Gifu Prefecture's Hiromi Clay-dolls.

Bonoya dolls in Shizuoka Prefecture.

Bonoya dolls is a Clay-dolls that started around 1880 and went out of business around 1940.

Asahi dolls in Aichi prefecture.

Asahi dolls began making Clay-dolls in Asahi Village in the Meiji Period (1868-1912).

Otogawa dolls in Aichi Prefecture.

The Otogawa dolls started around 1844.
The craftsman of Otogawa dolls used to be a Postman.
He learned the art of Fushimi dolls and ended up making Clay-dolls.

Ohama dolls in Aichi Prefecture.

Ohama dolls were started around 1894.
Ohama dolls are good at samurai and kabuki, so the faces of the dolls are white and the colors are clear.

Nagoya Clay-dolls from Aichi Prefecture.

The Nagoya Clay-dolls was started around 1868 by a samurai who lost his job.
The Clay-dolls he made were imitations of Fushimi dolls.

Obata dolls in Shiga Prefecture.

Obata dolls began around 1716-1735.
The founder used to do Postman, but he wanted to do work that could be done indoors, so he chose to make Clay-dolls.
His Clay-dolls are imitations of Fushimi dolls.

Kiyomizu dolls from Kyoto Prefecture.

Kiyomizu dolls are original Clay-dolls that have been sold on the approach to Kiyomizu Temple since around 1887.

Inahata dolls from Hyogo Prefecture.

Inahata dolls have been made since about 1846.
The origin of this Clay-dolls is Fushimi dolls.

Chugoku area.

Kyushu area.

Chugoku, Shikoku and Kyushu areas.

Kume dolls from Okayama Prefecture.

Kume dolls had been made since about 1868.
These were made in between farm work.

Kurayoshi dolls from Tottori Prefecture.

Kurayoshi dolls were created around 1778-1781 by merchants from Hiroshima Prefecture who settled there and started making folk art products.
Kurayoshi dolls are formed by mixing clay and Japanese paper.
After molding, let it dry and paint it.
It is not baked and hardened like other Clay-dolls.

Hojo Clay-dolls from Tottori Prefecture.

Hojo Clay-dolls, also known as renbe dolls, are local toys created based on Tottori's mythology and Kojiki.

Izumo Imaichi dolls from Shimane Prefecture.

Izumo Imaichi dolls are Clay-dolls that began to be made around 1790.
The origin of Izumo Imaichi dolls is Fushimi dolls.

Nagahama dolls from Shimane Prefecture.

Nagahama dolls is said to have started around 1765.

Miyoshi dolls from Hiroshima Prefecture.

Miyoshi dolls were first made by dolls makers around 1633.

A dolls for a bride in Takamatsu in Kagawa Prefecture.

The Takamatsu bride dolls is a necessary dolls for the wedding ceremony in Takamatsu City.
It is a custom to distribute dolls to children in the neighborhood on the occasion of a wedding.
But this custom has fallen into disuse.

Old Hakata dolls from Fukuoka Prefecture.

It is said that there are three origins of the old Hakata dolls.

1:Soshichi ware craftsmen began making Clay-dolls around 1596-1615.
2:Woodworkers in Kyoto began making Yamakasa dolls around 1437.
3:The ceramic artisans who were influenced by both of them began to make Clay-dolls.

Akasaka dolls in Fukuoka Prefecture.

Akasaka dolls were first made by Akasaka ware craftsmen around 1681-1780.

Tsuyazaki dolls from Fukuoka Prefecture.

The Tsuyazaki dolls were influenced by the old Hakata dolls and began to be made around 1772-1781.

The left is the Fuku-whistle and the right is the Moma-whistle.

Mojigaseki dolls from Fukuoka Prefecture.

The Mojigaseki dolls started around 1945-1956.
Mojigaseki dolls were created as a bonus for selling soap bubbles.

Nogomi dolls of Saga Prefecture.

Nogomi dolls was born in 1945.
Later, Nogomi dolls were sold at the Yutoku Inari Shrine in Saga Prefecture as talismans to ward off evil and bring good luck.

Yumino dolls from Saga Prefecture.

Yumino dolls were first made by a Hakata dolls maker in 1882.

Osaki dolls from Saga Prefecture.

Osaki dolls was created by the Mongolian people who settled in Osaki during the Mongolian raid in 1281.

Koga dolls from Nagasaki Prefecture.

Koga dolls is said to be one of the three major Clay-dolls in Japan.
Koga dolls were born around 1593-1596.

Sadowara dolls from Miyazaki Prefecture.

It is said that Sadowara dolls started about 400 years ago.
It is said that Sadowara dolls were started by a potter from the Korean peninsula.

Chosa dolls from Kagoshima prefecture.

It is said that Chosa dolls were started by a potter from the Korean peninsula.

The museum also has a "DOREI(= earthen chimes)" exhibit.


Japan Clay-dolls Museum
1150 Nakano,Nakano-shi,Nagano-ken
383-0024 Japan

Home Page : -
TEL : +81-269-26-0730

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