Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Traditional crafts of Japan are mainly made by hand . It takes many years to acquire the techniques  and skills associated  to what is known as  a traditional craft product.  Recently , I have  been attending  Mataro Doll classes  studying the  traditional making of Mataro dolls and the Palace ball craft.

The " Goten Mari"  was a ball originally made with silken threads. During the edo  Era     (1600-1867), ladies  in noble household throughout the country enjoyed making and playing with these balls. As a result, this ball came to be know as " Goten Mari" or the " Ball of the Palace".

It is a 10 cm round  round ball  molded with clay and  deeply etched with  a specific design that you cover  with fabric and paste into position. All the seams are folded  and overlapped into  carved spaces, thus,  creating a perfect geometric ball of beauty.  It is the first  requirement before attempting the   Mataro Doll, which is one  Japan's most  celebrated traditional  crafts.

Kanabayashi Mataro, Master DollMaker shares "Zaa Art" of this 100 plus year old tradition by training and certifying  craft people in the superb, ancient techniques of creating  Japanese Dolls.