Hakata NingyoHakata Art Dolls

The history of Hakata Ningyo is old and sails up at the beginning of the 17th century.
When Nagamasa Kuroda built Fukuoka-jo Castle, it is said to be opening that craftsman who learned technique of handicraft heating manufacturing of ridge-end tile gave to feudal lord superior work. In addition, folk customs unglazed toy doll that resident of Gioncho, Hakata created in the early 19th century is said to have laid groundwork for Hakata Ningyo.

According to some people, the history of Hakata Ningyo dates back to the beginning of the 17th century. It seems that when Kuroda Nagamasa built Fukuoka castle, someone making ridge-end tiles for the castle developed his skills with forming and firing, and he gave one of the figures he made to the head of the clan.
It is also said that Hakata Ningyo originate from simple biscuit fired toy dolls that were made by the people living in the Gion-machi district of Hakata sometime during the first half of the 19th century.

A great variety of figures are made including representations of beautiful women, kabuki players, characters from Noh dramas, characters of town and country, famous Taoist or Buddhist figures, and children. All are characterized by an unassuming beauty springing from biscuit firing, subtle coloring and finely carved details.

  • Notification

    skills and techniques

    After clay doing elutriation, and having produced, nekashiosurukoto.

    Use Shiratsuchi clay for model structure. In this case, skin part do "getting out polish".

    In moulage, it is thing by "sumi break" and "cutting apart". In this case, model assume stone model in this way.

    Basis material structure is thing by the next technique or technique.

    Thing by "pushed by hand" or "we drain and include". In this case, do bottom tension when "you pour" and look good.

    You apply "dobe", and attach after we separate, and "we cut, and aspect gave groove".

    When do decoration, or "cutting groove" "beats against dobe"; niyorukoto.


    Coloring is thing by the next technique or technique.

    Using water solution of whitewash and glue of skin part "saw luster"; after oshita "part of a picture painted with a slender-painting brush" of kimono part plaster; and is moyo* kiosurukoto.

    When do decoration, "foil tension," is thing by "heaping up" or "principal polish".

    "We put lipstick" "pays describing for eyes" using slender brush and face do "eyebrows part of a picture painted with a slender-painting brush".

    Raw materials

    It be said that clay to use has materials which are equal to clay from Yuyama or this.

    It be said that color to use has materials which are equal to mineral colors or powdered opaque paints or these.


  • Work scenery

    Process 1: We work out soil

    After having performed drying, crush, elutriation of clay which we dug from the Fukuoka suburbs, we work out carefully.

    Process 2: Model

    Design, sketch are repeated, and figure of doll is decided. We finish clay which we worked out using spatula carefully. By important process to decide figure of doll, the skill of training is clear.

    Process 3: Model

    We surround archetypal part on embankment of clay and pour gypsum in that. We can copy archetypal delicate expression more exactly by making precise model that we divided finely.

    Process 4: The making of dough

    We strongly push clay to model of gypsum which we took out of model with finger carefully and stick on model. We attach dough taken off from model and we finish in figure same as model and dry.

    Video is played when we click image

    Process 5: Burning

    Using electric kiln and gas kiln, we bake at approximately 900 degrees. Until about 1955, we baked by kiln of firewood called kuu*kama.

    Process 6: Coloring

    We paint many times and stack whitewash on face and make the groundwork. Coloring is carried out in order of kimono, obi, design, and we fry gold leaf tension, the height, and technique such as principal polish is used more by doll.

    Video is played when we click image

    Process 7: Face

    Soul of writer is put to doll, and this process called face is moment when expression of doll is determined. We edit part called "luster" of face of doll.

    Process 8: Completion

    Handmade Hakata Ningyo which was finished for many processes from design of work to face. The skill of artisans produces beautiful dolls.


  • Close-up

    Hakata Ningyo which "shows", and talks about o of joy

    Hakata Ningyo which is given for marriage, birth, office difference, housewarming. Puppeteer takes subject in ability and Kabuki and we pray for happiness to given person and "show" and load doll with no breath. We were charmed in the world of "Hakata Ningyo" which developed into doll on behalf of Japan while inheriting merchant culture.


    Hakata Ningyo which writing brush of puppeteer and the skill of artisan produce

    In Kyushu, Hakata, quiet residential area along Muromi River (muromigawa), we visited doll studio of Master of Traditional Crafts, Yuji Kosoegawa (osoegawayuuji) of Hakata Ningyo.
    At first puppeteer makes doll with soil, and process of Hakata Ningyo begins from place taking model. Then, we work out small malm of molecules carefully to give texture of fascinating skin of Hakata Ningyo. 50 are limits with one model that to stick clay on model, and the original form of doll is completed and provides well without breaking delicate expression such as eyes and nose. When we make in large quantities, we make some models. We bake thing which model nominates and dried by kiln and do coloring (we face and come) carefully and add face of face. When by a brief note pays for color for approximately 20-60 days until we are finished, warm expression that was full of life to doll is born.

    "kane*" wins Prime Minister Prize (carry come) in 1994. Yuji Kosoegawa product

    Traditional Craft, writer characteristics and management

    Kosoegawa entered the world of Hakata Ningyo under the influence of father, good me who worked in the Hakata Ningyo industry. We leave university and train ourselves with puppeteer, Hiroo Honda who are teacher immediately and are independent three years later and are one of writer representing the Hakata Ningyo industry now.
    In the world of puppeteer, writer characteristics are focused on, but management of studio is important work, too. In demand peak, 1983 of Hakata Ningyo, we were selling like hot cakes as sightseeing in Hakata souvenir in the days of Shinkansen opening in those days. Demand decreased little by little afterwards. Conventional doll is made for Japanese house of one-storied house. House environment including apartment changes, and Kosoegawa tells that it is big cause that demand decreased to to have lost place.
    In contrast, small robot to be able to put in apartment casually and puppeteers dealing with new dolls such as Kitty doll or Daiei Hawks doll other than wall hangings type increase recently.

    • Yuji Kosoegawa that face edites doll

    • We make the original form. Mother becoming 90 years old gives coloring in the depths

    We inherit Hakata culture and convey Japanese culture

    The history of Hakata Ningyo dates back to the early 17th century. In 1600 (Azuchi, Momoyama era), many craftsmen are gathered with Chikuzen entry and Fukuoka-jo Castle construction of a castle of Nagamasa Kuroda, and unglazed doll is born and is said to be when the groundwork of current Traditional Craft was made. Production using soil type began in the middle of Edo era, and it was supported by merchant culture such as Gion, Hakata Yamakasa festival, and the production developed and Edo was in the latter half and came to circulate in the whole country.
    Hakata Ningyo calls the original name "Hakata unglazing doll" (fried doll letting you win). When the third inside the country encouragement of industry exhibition was held in Tokyo in 1890, two exhibitors received medal of honor. In medal of honor form, two characters of "unglazing" of signature title "Hakata unglazing doll" were put out, and official name of "Hakata Ningyo" was established from this time, and the name of "Hakata Ningyo" came to be known to the world as doll which represented Japan.

    Child doll (child doll) which waits for coloring

    In hope of happiness; show

    Hakata Ningyo has many things expressing happy story in figure of doll. Thing by everyday study that kind is greatly divided into "child (child) thing" of "doshaku" (aggravating how) of "manners and customs" of "ability" of "Kabuki" of "beautiful woman", but what is rich in variety without subject fitting in into model expresses each puppeteer gano's original flavor. Posture to learn from foreign film, Japanese painting, sculpture, the stage of traditional arts has a big influence on character of Hakata Ningyo.
    We always take traditional drama into account, and Kosoegawa demands new discovery there, too. As well as local Hakata-za, we go to make time to Osaka and Tokyo at opportunity of business trip, and to watch ability and Kabuki. Kosoegawa says, "how you express monogatarino mind in gesture and expression of doll is search every day". It is said that we repeat studies to produce new works again even if work to be satisfied with is done.

    "Pine, bamboo, and plum" Yuji Kosoegawa product

    When we send "Hakata Ningyo" in auspicious occasion, what I did?

    We heard with "what kind of people to sometimes give are there much?" in department store of Hakata, the doll section of Iwataya. At the time of office difference, big thing which gave the Seven Deities of Good Luck and gold is pleased with. If girl is born of close person, we give doll of girl of "child thing" and put Hakata Ningyo of small young bird on the Doll's Festival beside Nanatsudan decoration and pray festival in May for healthy growth of child in small warriors.
    We meet indeed while walking the city though Hakata Ningyo is given glory to by the depths of window of city hall and office. It was charmed by fascinating fable that the skill of artisan produced knowing if we knew the world of Hakata Ningyo.

    In "dream" 1992, we have Their Majesties Emperor, empress purchase at Mako Akishinonomiya birth. Yuji Kosoegawa product


    Hakata was able to do it next rutokya one, but is of kaesa rya doll and two people

    Hakata Ningyo is sung in "original form Hakata knob" (person pats result butterfly), and the name is known to the whole country as pronoun of Hakata souvenir. It takes root in climate of Hakata including "Gion, Hakata Yamakasa festival" that is representative festival of Hakata, and, to the shade, there is pride of puppeteer who inherited the skill of artisan.
    Classic thing which took subject in ability and Kabuki, thing which expressed innocent gesture of child on behalf of Japan, various dolls celebrate departure of people. Character thing such as type over wall and Kitty doll, Daiei Hawks doll is developed, too and gains popularity recently.
    How about what return to house with Hakata Ningyo after watching Kabuki by Gion, Hakata Yamakasa festival in upsurge, Hakata-za, and enjoying baseball in Fukuoka Dome, and eating in Nakasu, and having enjoyed Hakata sightseeing?

    • Gion, Hakata Yamakasa festival

    • Wall hangings type 

    • Kitty doll



Industrial art object name Hakata Ningyo
Phonetic symbol This is person doll
Classification of industrial art object Dolls and Kokeshi
Main product Kabuki thing of man of beautiful woman
Main production area Fukuoka / Fukuoka-shi, Ogori-shi, Chikushino-shi, Kasuga-shi, Onojo-shi, Dazaifu-shi, Maebaru-shi others
The designation date February 26, 1976

Contact information

■local production associations

Hakata Ningyo commerce and industry cooperative association
10-3, Narayamachi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka
West Japan Naraya Building 602
TEL: 092-291-4114
FAX: 092-291-8007

■Associated exhibit space, facility


We can classify Hakata Ningyo roughly into person image of Taoism and Buddhism of manners and customs of ability of Kabuki of beautiful woman, child thing. It is beauty of calm sense that characteristic, characteristic of Hakata Ningyo is unglazed and colors and careful cutting groove.

Hakata Ningyo can be roughly categorized by personality of the doll :Bijin (beautiful lady), Kabuki, Noh, Customs, Characters in Taoism or Buddhism and Wappamono (children). Their characteristics derive from the calm colorings which are made through simple biscuit firing and fine engraving.

How to make

We knead clay produced in hometown and we carve in relief based on design and make model and do moulage with gypsum (sekkou). We stick clay which we worked out in the model on imposition type and bake. Make the groundwork after kiln nominated before coloring, and perform "part of a picture painted with a slender-painting brush", is menso* kioshimasu last. It takes about from 20 days to 60 days before completion.

Local clay is kneaded and engraved to create the prototype, then the mold is shaped by plaster. The body is shaped by the mold, and then baked. After the body is taken out from a kiln, the foundation is made to paint the hair and the face. The process usually takes 20 to 60 days to complete.

Voice from production center

It does the name called Hakata Ningyo by opening to have removed two characters of "unglazing" from reward-formed "Hakata unglazing doll" conferred at open inside the country encouragement of industry exhibition in Osaka in 1890 and the name to say. Hakata Ningyo has expression of heart. It is said that we can talk with Hakata Ningyo.