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The " Goten Mari"  was a ball originally made with silken threads.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.


Polly said...

The ball looks perfect and the dolls are gorgeous, well done! And big thank you for this very informative post

I_am_Tulsa said...

I used to have Japanese dolls on display when I lived in the US..it's weird but I don't have any here in Japan! You have a very nice mari!

Zaa said...

Thanks Polly I appreciate you visits..Please do come again.

Zaa said...

Thanks Tulsa... there are so many lovely dolls here... I 've been studying with doll makers here in Japan It's truly a exciting and creative craft. Please visit again for a chat.

Chris said...

Handcrafted dolls are hard to make, but the exquisite beauty and unmatched detailing of these dolls make them rewarding, and hard to not admire too. Just check out how elaborate these doll clothes are.

The Goten Mari also takes some good skill for it to be crafted beautifully. I'm pretty sure that you enjoyed the classes.

- Chris Jeffery

angel said...

hi i just want to know more about studying dolls there in japan., i am interested but i don't know much about it like how long should i study?, do i need to be an art major? ,how much does it cost (roughly), where is the school?, and in particular do they teach ichimatsu ningyo doll making? if you can answer at least some of my questions that will be very helpful! thank you so much maybe you want to email me.. (angel00sandwich@gmial.co)