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The Only Pottery Makes The Traditional Craft, “Miyoshi Ningyou” Registered As an Intangible Cultural Asset

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The Only Pottery Makes The Traditional Craft, “Miyoshi Ningyou” Registered As an Intangible Cultural Asset

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Hanazonogama, the pottery of Miyoshi ningyou (the 6th craftsman, Marumoto)

Call & Fax: 0824-63-7502 Schedule: Baking pottery: May - October, Paint: November - April Closed: Sundays and holidays (*Reservation required)

For over 160 years, Miyoshi ningyou (ningyou is a japanese doll) has been popular as a gift for celebration of seasonal festivals and the birth of children. Lately, given not only as a celebration of new construction, one's sixtieth birthday and marriage, but also as a memento and souvenir, it became one of the best local souvenirs in Miyoshi city.
Hanazonogama is the only pottery shop that still makes Miyoshi ningyou, and the craftsman, Marumoto, has been making them for 50 years. "It's not that I'm not satisfied with my work every year, but if the moment comes where I feel like 'This is it!' that's where I'll finish my work." Such a craftsman with passion, the treasure of Miyoshi has been preserved.

There are about 140 types of Miyoshi ningyou, and they are divided into multiple categories including "men's", "women's" and "warrior ningyou." There are also tenjin ningyou which expresses Sugawarano Michizane who is called the kami of learning. It can be a gift for learning success. Oiran ningyou is for progress of performing arts, and Daikoku ningyou and Ebisu ningyou are for a successful crop. Mioyshi ningyou has been a gift for healthy growth of children and protection of home. These ningyou represent a warm heart for caring people.

The variation of the ningyou has a wide range. Tenjin ningyou has 9 sizes. With the biggest one being over 50 cm high, and the smallest one at about 16 cm. Each of them has a different expression and it's one of the interesting points of Miyoshi ningyou.

The origin of Miyoshi ningyou is the foundation of the pottery in 1854 in Miyoshicho by Osaki Chuemon who came from Ota city in Shimane prefecture. Repetitive changes and copying of other area's ningyou made Miyoshi ningyou unique.


Tenjin ningyou, one of the most popular MIyoshi ningyou

The 2nd Tenjin (34 cm x 30 cm)
The 1st Tenjinn (39 cm x 34 cm)
Atamanashi Tenjin (43 cm x 40 cm)

The 9th Tenjin (16 cm x12 cm)
The 8th Tenjin (19cm x 17 cm)
The 7th Tenjin (22 cm x 19 cm)
The 5th Tenjin (29 cm x 24 cm)

Marumoto makes 50 types and 500 Miyoshi ningyou a year.
From May to October he bakes potteries, and from November to April he paints them. You can visit and see his work if you ask him beforehand.

The clay is made in Miyoshi and whitewash that is used for the skin of ningyou is made from the local oyster shell. Using local things is a traditional part of making Miyoshi ningyou.

To use glue to paint and make Miyoshi ningyou shiny, he paints in winter. There are only about 10 ningyou makers in Japan that use distemper and glue. Painting requires so much concentration that Marumoto even considers the color of the light in the workplace. "When I draw a straight line I'm so focused and forget breathing." Marumoto says. Watching his work is breathtaking and impressive, too.

Its detailed, unique technique has been protected since the Edo period, and registered as an intangible cultural asset.

The traditional technical art, Miyoshi ningyou is a great gift for celebration of health and safety.

Information

スポット名 Hanazonogama, the pottery of Miyoshi Nongyou (the 6th, Marumoto)
所在地 4 Chome-12-7 Tokaichiminami, Miyoshi, Hiroshima 728-0014
営業時間 Baking pottery: May ~ October, paint: November ~ April
電話番号 0824-63-7502
FAX 0824-63-7502