Visit craftsmen ~ Edo Kimekage dolls Attracted by the depth of human-making …

January 22, 2016 I visited Ryoichi Arimatsu, who is demonstrating his production at Aoyama Square.

Edo Kimegari Doll Craftsman: Ryoichi Arimatsu

This name was born from carving a thin gap in the boundary part of the fold of clothes and the cloth slice with edo wood megumi doll, and putting the cloth there …. It is said that the wood-made doll was born about 280 years ago at Kamikamo Shrine in Kyoto.


How did you get into this world?

Mr. Arimatsu, who was originally a salaried worker

At Mr. Arimatsu’s house, his parents formed people. For this reason, he has been interested in “monozukuri” since he was a child.


However, father, a traditional craftsman, knew the severity of human-shaping, so he did not dare to let his son succeed the family business.


Mr. Arimatsu was raised by such parents, so he chose to work as a salaried worker at first, rather than the world of human-shaping.


The world of manufacturing that is worrisome

Mr. Arimatsu started working as a salaried worker, but he spent every day completely different from “monozukuri”, partly because he was in a job of sales. Perhaps because of that, the feeling of “something different” seems to accumulate .


Five years ago, he decided to leave the company and enter this industry, after all, with the desire to do “monozukuri”, and it seems that it has reached the present.



The charm of Arimatsu’s human-making

One of the attractions is the large number of processes

Arimatsu says that human-shaping requires a lot of ability.

For example, the ability to make doll shapes. “Color ability” to choose the costume of the doll. “Ability to draw” to draw the expression of dolls.

All of these work are done by one person, so I can not say that I am a person if I can not do any of them.


However, Mr. Arimatsu seems to be attracted to the place where you have to do many things alone.




The attitude of the puppeteers of fathers and seniors

After entering this world, Mr. Arimatsu went to teach his father and a puppeteer who is already over 80 years old how to make it. These two words seem to resonate especially with the heart.


Even if you remember all the processes, you always need to study.


It is natural to have a consciousness that I have to study now, but even a large senior who has been an active puppeteer over the age of 80 felt that thinking that “I still have to study” shows the depth of this world.

I can’t leave all the steps to me yet…

Making a face

One of the most important parts of human-shaping is the face.


This is a clay-like process by mixing paulownia powder and glue, and making a shape and shaving.

The biggest face is a sample, and the other face was made by Mr. Arimatsu for practice.



Making a fuselage

The core part of the human-shaped “fuselage”.


It is the same as the face, and this is the one made of paulownia powder.


He hasn’t been able to make modeling in the workshop yet, but he practices it in his own way every day.



a doll even colored

This doll is a new one made so that the part of the face shakes.

This technique was recognized, and now it is made for sale.

It was said that it had gradually become admitted though it was a little at a time.



What’s nice about joining this industry is…

Ability to have live dialogue with customers

Office worker era. No matter how much I worked, I was often taken for granted by others, and I had received only a simple e-mail of thank you.


However, after I started making dolls, I felt that I was doing a wonderful job when I saw customers who bought dolls really happy to smile and send me heartfelt thank you letters.


Work that can make people happy and make people smile. When you think that’s what makes people, you said that you really wanted to work harder for your customers.

The human-shaping that Mr. Arimatsu aims to do is …

The fusion of the past and the present

Finally, when I asked Mr. Arimatsu what kind of dolls he would like to make in the future, he replied that he wanted to make something that is liked by today’s people while properly inheriting the traditional parts of traditional dolls that have been around for a long time.


Mr. Arimatsu says that the lifestyle that has changed greatly in the past and now. Certainly, it was said that there were many steps of Hina dolls as amazing a long time ago, but now there is no space to put many dolls, and the size of the current house is preferred.


Of course, it is not only a matter of size, but it seems that mr. Arimatsu’s attitude of human-shaping is to challenge modern-style new manufacturing using traditional techniques while grasping such differences between the past and the present.


The “Iwatsuki Edo Kimeko Doll Arimatsu Doll Studio Exhibition” where you can see such Arimatsu’s production demonstrations is held at Aoyama Square until January 27.
Please come and talk with Mr. Arimatsu.

What do you think?


    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings

    Written by 工芸プレス


    Visit craftsmen – Satsuma ware: Your personality found in traditional Satsuma ware

    Visit the craftsman – Ueno ware The master of Ueno ware who does not forget the playful spirit