Here’s Japanese Craft You Can Make! Edo-kimekomi Japanese Doll

Edo-kimekomi Japanese Doll, traditional crafts, a product of doll girl

Edo-kimekomi Japanese Doll, traditional crafts, a product of Koinobori doll
(Image: Japanese Doll, traditional crafts, a product of Kabuki actor doll
Edo-kimekomi Japanese Doll, traditional crafts, a product of doll girl

Edo-kimekomi Japanese doll is a doll created by a doll craftsman who moved to Edo (current Tokyo) from Kyoto. This doll has several distinctive features: abundant variations of shape and colors, light enough to carry easily, durable and hardly broken.

You Can Experience Traditional Crafts! Those Dolls Are Made of Sawdusts

Edo-kimekomi Japanese Doll’s raw material is mainly sawdust of paulownia. If you properly mix sawdust with water and Shofu glue for solidifying it, you are able to make ideal doll with perfect hardness and lightness.

You can choose any pose and body balance for your Edo-kimekomi Japanese Doll. Also, you can show any expression on your doll by changing only grain material.
This kind of crafts with less rules is rare, and it is like attending an art class as a student at school. Actually, it is true to some extent; a doll factory helds doll-making workshops which accept people who wants to try making Edo-kimekomi Japanese Doll. The workshops are popular and highly evaluated as it is a precious chance to make a traditional crafts by yourself!

In this article, we introduce how to make Edo-kimekomi Japanese Doll. And at the end, we introduce a place where you can experience Edo-kimekomi Japanese Doll making.

A Few Kind of Tools are Enough: Spatula, Pen, and Your Skill

Edo-kimekomi Japanese Doll, traditional crafts, instruments used to make dolls

In general, for woodworks, it requires to use over dozens of fleas and cannabis. On the other hand, Edo-kimekomi Japanese Doll does not require that much. Required tools are only several spatulas, and several types of pen. Big electric equipments are not needed.

Making Process of Edo-kimekomi Japanese Doll

1. [Fabric construction] Light and durable paulownia head

Edo-kimekomi Japanese Doll, traditional crafts, making step 1, head part creation

First, make head by painting and hardening sawdust material “Toso”. Toso is hardened paulownia sawdust mixing with glue and it is light and strong. For this reason, Toso is used for making dolls since long time ago.

Although making body is similar, usually actual craftsmen make shape of the body. So, it is common way to purchase bodies of dolls, which is made by craftsmen, from manufactures, and complete it into a doll in the experience.

2. [Kimekomi] The step show your sense!

Edo-kimekomi Japanese Doll, traditional crafts, making step 2 - putting on cloths

Put a glue in a dug groove, and firmly grain a cutted cloth, with paper sketch, using percussion or kimekomi spaluta. Instead of putting on kimono on dolls, integrating process of kimono and doll by inserting some part of cloth into dug groove is distinctive feature of Edo-kimekmoi Japanese Doll.

3. [Face Drawing] Every face is unique because it’s hand-drawn

Edo-kimekomi Japanese Doll, traditional crafts, making step 3 - drawing face

Hand drawing one by one with facial brush.
Drawing a face of doll is an important process, as there are professional craftsmen who specializes for making doll head, and it said that soul step of doll. Also, it is said that showing the expression of various kinds of dolls with a single brush, is requires very high skilled delicate work.

4. [Hair Blowing] Finishing up the product

Edo-kimekomi Japanese Doll, traditional crafts, making step 4 - put hair and comb to complete

A dyed black silk thread which does not twist easily is used for doll’s hair. And this hair thread is called Suga thread. Combing hair very well and stick it together after trimming to straighten up.
To attach hair, starts from short hair, and next, plant longer hair into engraved hole one by one using percussion. After combing hair very well, it is now completed.

Wanna Experience Doll Making? Ask Tsukada Studio

How do you feel about Kimekomi Doll?
Why not making Kimekomi Doll?

Edo-Kimekomi Doll making experience workshops are held regularly in Tsukada studio in Tokyo.

Edo-kimekomi Japanese Doll, traditional crafts, doll making class held by a factory

Doll Making Class “Spring Meeting” by Tsukada studio

In this class, doll making professional craftsmen teaches from the start. At the beginning, think about theme of the doll making (Hina doll, Little Girl doll, etc.), and actually make it.

Class day 2nd and 4th Thursdays, 1pm-5pm

4th Saturdays: 1pm-5pm

Course fee (tax included) 5,000 JPY for single class (approx. $45)
Admission fee (tax included) 5,000 JPY (Mainly cost for materials)

Contact Info

Edo-kimekomi Japanese Doll Tsukuda Studio
Mukoujima, Sumidaku, Tokyo
TEL    03-3622-4579

In Conclusion

It is very nice that there is a traditional craft that can be experienced by ordinary people. This is the closest way to experience different culture from another country. And after you make your Japanese doll, it can be saved as a very precious memory or can be very thoughtful gift to someone close. This doll is made from very strong material which is sawdust hardened with glue and water. So, it can be used very long time even as a toy for your children. Also, making a doll is very fun activity with your friends and family.

Author - huchka

I am from Mongolia and studying abroad in Japan since 2007. Currently, I am living in Osaka and studying at Graduate school of Information Science and Technology, Osaka University. I have always fascinated about Japan product's quality in so many different levels, especially in deep specific fields. Also, Japan has very interesting long historic and traditional culture and it has been kept so well within modern era that I found amazing.
Recently, I am taking interest in handmade crafts and it's background culture and history. So I can introduce what you are looking or interesting.
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