Ningyo Production in Saitama

Saitama Prefecture is Japan’s largest producer of ningyo. This exhibition room introduces how ningyo are made, with a focus on ningyo from Iwatsuki. In addition to exhibitions of the tools and materials used in creating ningyo, ningyo made in Saitama, and reference materials, videos are screened of craftspersons making ningyo.

Exhibition Guide

Until a Ningyo’s Completion
Of Japan’s many types of ningyo, the majority of those produced for sale are created through a division of labor, with specialized craftsmen responsible for the head, arms and legs, torso, and accessories. Then those parts are assembled by the manufacturing wholesaler, and the ningyo is complete.
Today mechanism and the introduction of new materials are both advancing. In the past, however, natural materials were used and ningyo were created by hand. Here we focus on introducing techniques used traditionally in producing ningyo.
Ningyo from Saitama
Saitama, in modern times, has created the ningyo for the third and fifth month annual celebrations and a bevy of other types, including ukiyo ningyo and kamishimo ningyo. The latter not only adorned the tiered hina displays in the third month but also were widely popular, mainly in rural areas, as representing prayers for bountiful harvests and successfully raising silkworms. After World War II, Iwatsuki produced even more types of ningyo, including entertainment world and kimekomi ningyo. Ningyo from Saitama decorated families’ living rooms throughout Japan.