Kiku ningyo – Japanese dolls from living chrysanthemums
Admiring the delicate and pristine beauty of nature in this country – a centuries-old tradition and the eternal need of the soul. Indeed, a doll is an integral part of Japanese culture. According to their culture, Japan is the land of ten thousand dolls. And in the Japanese culture combining the skill of puppeteers and exquisite beauty of flowers is a real art. The first plantations of chrysanthemum appeared in Japan about four years ago. In addition, in 1804 Tokyo began to form large, life-size, Kiku-ningyo – unique chrysanthemum dolls, dressed in luxury “clothing” of flowers that grow in the ground.
Undoubtedly, manufacture of these dolls is art that requires great skill and patience of the creators, who are studying this for years and carefully transfer their skills from generation to generation.
Exhibition “flower dolls” takes place in the city of Nihonmatsu near Tokyo. Meanwhile, Nihonmatsu – the largest flower in the center of Japan. It grows thousands of chrysanthemums of all shades and sizes – from chrysanthemums blooming with tiny flowers to plants with enormous flowers with a diameter greater than twenty centimeters.
Wonderful dolls, dressed in the clothes of hundreds of bright and gentle colors, each year attract more viewers. On the creation of a doll traditionally work several people, and each has his own specific responsibilities.
First, Dogu-cho – is an artist and designer, who develops an image of the future dolls. Ningyo-shi – “puppeteer.” He makes a simple wooden frame – the foundation of the puppet body – and creates a head, hands and feet doll.
Second, Kiku-shi – “He who covers the body of chrysanthemum”, or specialist of Chrysanthemum Dolls – makes the most important and responsible job. He forms the puppet “body” with bamboo strips wrapped in rice grass, a process called Dogara-maki. And then begins the most interesting phase of work on the doll …
Besides, for creating a doll of chrysanthemums designers select plants with small flowers and long, flexible stems. The flowers as long as possible retain the freshness and beauty. Cut off to the roots, cleared off the ground and the extra leaves and roots carefully wrapped in moss damp. This process also has its own name – Nemaki.
Next, the plants are placed in a frame, the skeleton, and the flowers are arranged in accordance with the plan, and carefully secured. Then, the master fills the doll with roots and stems of plants, and covers with hundreds of gorgeous flowers. In fact, each doll takes from 100 to 150 plants.
Elements of clothing made of fabric, and belts, scarves added last. And the unique works of art appear before the audience in all their glory …
Meanwhile, thanks to designers, a doll “lives” as long as possible. They carefully look after them: water the plants, and replace weak plants. Making dolls from living chrysanthemums became in Japan the traditional arts and crafts. Unfortunately, there are very few true masters who own the secrets of the traditional art of making dolls from chrysanthemums. But the art is living, and every autumn artists delight people with new masterpieces of delicate and charming color.
Japanese dolls from living chrysanthemums