The Mataro Doll Company is the premier Kimekomi doll making company in Japan. The Master Kanabayashi Mataro the Second, the heir to the original Kimekomi technique, hand molds each doll himself. Teamed up with artisans, some who have been making dolls since before Wold War Two, Master Mataro offers up the most beautiful Kimekomi dolls and kits available today. Mataro Doll Company holds several awards and prestigious positions in the Japanese Doll making world. How amazing would it be to create a Mataro Doll yourself?!
The legendary Mataro Doll Company was gracious enough to take the time to answer a few questions about their beloved craft.
Tell us a little about your company.
Our company was founded in 1919.
We use traditional technique “Kimekomi” from the Edo era faithfully.
We make many dolls(“Girls festival doll” and “Warrior dolls” and “Ukiyoe dolls ” and more) and sell them.
What makes Kimekomi dolls special?
We learn carving and modeling and a sketch deeply and enhance doll production as composite art and are particular about the production full of modern senses.
An expert craftsman puts great deal of effort and produces elegant gems and has a high evaluation as a traditional industrial art object.
Are colors or pattern of fabric important to the doll?
When a customer makes a doll kit, the paper pattern of the cloth supports the production to a beginner clearly.
It is necessary to decide the color of the cloth in consideration of a background, an origin in the model of the Japanese doll and sex, age, the times when it was.
It becomes unnatural if we use the thing which it does not deserve.
We take every rule of real clothes into account and are particular about a color to become the splendid doll.
Are there different kinds of Kimekomi?
We produce various types of Kimekomi dolls.
(Girl’s Festival dolls, Warrior dolls, Noh Kabuki Play dolls, and so on.)
What is your favorite part of making a Kimekomi doll?
The making of model of the beginning controls the quality of finish of the work most.
We concentrate an inventive idea to make a completion image form.
What is the doll festival in Japan?
Doll’s festival(Hinamatsuri) is celebrated each year on March 3 to wish for girls’ growth and happiness.
People display a set of dolls in beautiful ancient court costumes of the Heian era.
Are your kits easy enough someone who wants to make one for the first time?
We provide a doll kit in accordance with user levels from a beginner to a high-level user.
If it is a simple kit, even a primary schoolchild can make it.
Do you have any tips for someone who wants to make a Kimekomi doll?
At first the beginner, please choose the simple doll kit.
It leads to progress to learn trick of the work carefully slowly.
It is the greatest trick of making beautiful doll to treat material carefully and to perform a process one by one carefully.
If you want to learn more about what a Kimekomi doll is, check out my previous column, Balls and Dolls.
Please visit the Mataro Doll website to learn more or if you’d like to purchase a kit or completed Mataro Doll.
When she’s not gallivanting overseas (usually to Japan) Madeline is making things and staying sunny in beautiful Honolulu, Hawaii. You can keep up with Madeline’s endless fiber projects and find her travel blog at www.madelinewonderland.com