Hakata Doll Painting

Hakata dolls are a cultural treasure of Fukuoka. The small clay dolls resemble geishas and other feudal Japanese characters and are a trademark of the Fukuoka prefecture. The commonly accepted origin of Hakata dolls is 17th-century Hakata; artisans produced clay dolls, sometimes presented as gifts to Buddhist temples and to the ruler of Hakata at that time. These dolls were called Hakata suyaki ningyō. However, recent archaeological evidence discovered during the excavation of Hakata, including simple biscuit-fired toys, has put the origin of Hakata dolls in China.

At the end of the 19th century, Hakata dolls transformed from toys to works of art. Master craftsmen began to study colour theory, human proportions, and other modern artistic theories and techniques, which led to the production of more realistic Hakata dolls. The Hakata doll gained fame when American soldiers took them back to the US as souvenirs during the American occupation of Japan following the Second World War. Japan started exporting Hakata dolls soon afterwards. At the same time, the Hakata doll became well known domestically, and factories began producing Hakata dolls of lesser quality.

We give our students the chance to try out this piece of Japanese history and culture by themselves by painting and creating beautiful Hakata clay dolls that they can take home and keep as a unique and selfmade memento.

Basic Information


Day/Time: Every second week, 15:00-17:00
Place: SUITO, meeting at the Asahi school
Guide: SUITO staff
Level: Beginner – Advanced (Max 10 people)
Fee: 1500 Yen
Apply by: 2 days before the event

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