#2 dolls


The theme is “Ningyo: Dolls”. It is said that there is no other country, other than Japan, that has created such a wide variety and high quality dolls. The traditional Japanese dolls are sophisticated and are carefully made with the bravely curtailed technique have a different appeal from the western dolls. There is no other country than Japan that continues to create highly artistic robots, the doll made with the latest technology. This time, four short films with a focus on “Ningyo: Dolls” was created.

Japanese love of robots lies in the history of the Karakuri Doll. Until now there has been little interest from outside Japan regarding the Karakuri Ningyo craft, and its influence on technology and the arts. Mechanical karakuri dolls were first made around the end of the Edo period, in the early 1800s.


In the ancient past, Japanese women used to make dolls to protect their children or grandchildren and dolls were also used in religious ceremonies. Ichimatsu dolls (市松人形) represent little girls or boys, correctly proportioned and usually with flesh-colored skin and glass eyes. The original Ichimatsu were named after an 18th-century Kabuki actor, and must have represented an adult man, but since the late 19th century the term has applied to child dolls.


created by

Tetsuya Niikura ( Photograph / Camera )

Kanami ( Model )

Natsuko Kanno ( Styling )

Kiyomitsu Arai ( Hair Styling )

Mariko Arai ( Makeup)

Kuniharu Abe ( Editing )

Takashi Fukushima ( Editing )

Chihwei Julie Li ( Music )

Hitoshi Sagaseki ( Creative Direct )

In Edo period, Japan’s cultural heritage began to flourish as Kabuki and Puppet Theater began to emerge. Kuroko (黒子) are stagehands in traditional Japanese theatre, who dress all in black. Kuroko will wear white or blue in order to blend in with the background in a scene set. In Noh and Puppet theatre, a Kuroko, wearing black but no mask, serves much the same purpose.

created by

niharu Abe (Camera/ Production )

Yuho Matsuda (Camera)

Maho Shiomi (Camera)

Mark Jones ( Music )

Hitoshi Sagaseki ( Creative Direct )

Hina dolls (雛人形) are the dolls for Hina Matsuri, the Doll Festival, also known as Momo no Sekku or the Peach Festival. They can be made of many materials but the classic hina doll has a pyramidal body of elaborate. A full set comprises at least 15 dolls, representing specific characters, with many accessories (dogu), though the basic set is a male-female pair, often referred to as the Emperor and Empress.

created by

aru Abe ( Design / Direct / Production )

Shigeko Okada ( Illustration )

Chihwei Julie Li ( Music )

Hitoshi Sagaseki ( Creative Direct )

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