Nogata Dolls


Papermachee Dolls from Nogata 直方張子
and Clay Dolls from Tsuyasaki 津屋崎土人形 - Fukuoka

Nogata is a small castle town south of Kita-Kyushu.

The Nogata Daruma (Noogata Daruma 直方だるま) is a papermachee toy and good luck charm during the New Year's season. The figures are quite simple, some wear a headband (hachimaki) and most New Year dolls are decorated with the auspicious symbols of pine, bamboo and plum (shoochikubai), like the one on the picture above. Daruma dolls to make a wish have no eyes to start with.

They come in 6 different sizes and all of them are handmade and handpainted by the Harada Family, now in the 12th and 13th generation.

The Harada family has moved from Tsuyazaki to Nogata and kept the tradition of making dolls of papermachee and clay. The dolls all have large eyes and big eyebrows in the ancient family tradition.
Harada Misaemon 原田三右衛門

Tsuyasaki clay dolls are made from a wooden form, covered with papermachee and then painted by hand. The colors are vibrant and shining and the facial expression of each Daruma is unique. They may tumble over when you hit them, but they always get up again to show you the spirit of Daruma.
These dolls are a designated folk art of Fukuoka prefecture.
see below


The Doll Store Harada in Nogata 

直方の 原田人形屋

Nogata, Misohori 3-6-14 TEL:  (09492)2-1156

The present head of the family is Mr. Tadashi Harada who works with his two sons, Takashi and Jiroo to preserve the tradition of the family. Tadashi is the 12th generation in a long list of these Daruma makers since the Edo period. The family makes a lot of different dolls bringing good luck, like Daruma, tigers and festival carts.

Tadashi's father was also a famous carver of Buddha statues and made over 2000 pieces. Tadashi studied arts and carving at university but then went back home to take over the family tradition of Nogata doll making and carving Buddha statues.


筑前津屋崎人形 Chikuzen Tsuyasaki Ningyo

CLICK for more photos

The Tsuyazaki (Tsuyasaki) 津屋崎 tradition
of these simple clay dolls started in 1772, when the first maker, Ushichi Harada and his son Hanbei found suitable clay in the area around Tsuyazaki and made some dolls, some in the traditon of Hakata dolls. Most of the dolls are famous Kabuki players or historical figures, the Gods of Good Luck and other good luck items like Daruma san and the Asian zodiac animals.
There are more than 1500 different dolls in the repertoire of the family. They are made with characteristic features, bright colors and are all hand made.

津屋崎人形 旧型ひな人形 old-style Hina dolls
- source : www.yokamon.jp

- source : makimaki-syo まきまきしま書

The Tsuyasaki Daruma dolls of this tradition come in many different forms, like sitting in Zen meditation, standing, piggy-bank Daruma, princess Daruma, clay bells with Daruma and many others, said to be more than 300 different types.

. 熊押之金時 Kintaro holding down a bear, with hammer .


Akasaka tsuchi ningyoo 赤坂土人形
clay doll from Akasaka, Fukuoka

Clay is pressed into a form, then taken out and fires. Simple natural colors are applied.

鯉抱き金太郎 Kintaro with a carp
koi-daki Kintaroo
about 26 cm high

The pottery makers of Akasaka also made some dolls. This one is from the Noguchi family.

- quote -
We introduce you to simple yet heart-warming Akasaka Ningyo dolls being passed down throughout generations in Akasaka, Chikugo City; which has been flourishing since the Edo period as the designated kiln of Arima Domain - the origin of Akasaka porcelain.

Flourishing since the mid Edo period as the designated kiln of Arima Domain, is the town of Chikugo Akasaka - the origin of Akasaka porcelain.

It has been told that the beginning goes back to when those who had been working at other kilns started making these dolls on their spare time.

Also known as Teteppopo.
Introducing Mr. Noguchi, whose family has been creating Akasaka Ningyo dolls for 5 generations.
. . . Teteppopo is an Akasaka dialect meaning "not so smooth" or "uncoordinated" - hence the unorthodox look. . . which is what people love.

- - - - - Look at a video here :
- source : webtv.pref.fukuoka.lg.jp


Mud-Snail Dolls, Tanishi Ningyoo  たにし人形

Small dolls made from local mud-snails and sold in the town of Yukuhashi、Fukuoka prefecture, especially during the New Year season. The mud-snails live in the wet ricefields nearby and are the subject of old children's songs. The dolls come in many funny forms, also as the Asian zodiac animals, like a little boar.


. WKD : tanishi 田螺 たにし paddy snail
Cipango paludina. Teichschnecke


The Horse of The First Day, Hassaku no Uma 八朔の馬
hassaku no warauma 八朔の藁馬 straw horse of the First Day

This straw horse has a history of about 300 years. It is a traditional present for a little boy on September the first, when he was born in the previous year. All the relatives, friends and neighbours of the boy bring such a horse on the evening of August 31 and some families get more than 200 horses on that day, which they put up on a special shelf for the occasion. On the second of September, all the horses are given away to the local children and only the biggest one stays with the family.

The horse is made from straw and the decorations from wood and silk. You can have a special name written on the flag, when you order a horse. Most are in black or white. In the area of Chikuzen, it is also a traditional present for a wedding or a newly build home, carrying a lot of good luck to the event. It comes in three different sizes and is made by the Inoue Family. A big one made to order may cost you more than 800 dollars.

This custom is popular in most parts of Northern Kyushu, especially in Ashiya 芦屋町.
The horses here were used to transport salt and rice.

about 4.5 cm high.


Humming Kites from Chikuzen, Chikuzen Bunbun-Dako  


The first maker, Ishii Nihei 石井仁平 , improved the kites from the Suruga province (now Shizuoka prefecture), and the production is now in the hands of the third generation. When the kite rises in the sky, it makes a humming sound, called "Bunbun" in Japanese. The kites are made of fresh green bamboo and Japanese paper and come in many different sizes, from the size of a tobacco box to more than one meter. They can withstand very strong wind, making their special sounds as they dance in the storm. Some are painted with faces of famous Kabuki actors, others with traditional graphic motives.



External LINKS

Other Folk Art from Fukuoka Prefecture  福岡県の民芸作品

Kokura Clay Dolls 小倉の土人形

Mojigaseki Clay Dolls 文字ケ関の土人形


. Zodiac Animals and Toys .

. Regional Folk Toys from Japan .

- #Nogatadolls -


Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Kites from Kyushu 九州の凧 

Gabi Greve said...

Akasaka tsuchi ningyo 赤坂土人形 Akasaka clay dolls

Daikoku and Ebisu 大黒と恵比寿 clay dolls