NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

2006/12/15

尾崎人形 Ozaki-ningyo Ozaki Dolls

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Ozaki Dolls are pottery dolls handed down in Osaki Nishibun area in Kanzaki-machi, saga Pref. This craft is one of the oldest pottery works in the prefecture. It is characterized by the warm feeling of clay, the humorous look, and colorful paintings. Ozaki Dolls originates in the dolls that the Mongolian warriors captured during the Mongol Invasions of Japan (in 1281) made to blow tunes and remembered their faraway homeland. They taught the technique to the local people and since then the pottery in this district has developed. The locally obtained clay is molded into dolls and then holes are made in blowing types. After that they are dried for two weeks, fired in the handmade kilns, painted white first, and finally colored with bright iwaenogu (Japanese dry pigments). The bright red stands for the Mongolians’ blood, blue for peace, and yellow for nature. There are about 20 kinds of Ozaki Dolls including pigeon whistles, baby-sitter dolls, or sparrows. Among them a pigeon whistle, which is called “Tetteppu,” is the most popular souvenir.

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