photo Woodendolls


Wooden dolls have separate heads, bodies, and arms and legs carved from paulownia wood, which are assembled using bamboo pegs. Paulownia is low in resin, making it less likely to attract insects, and is also lightweight, strong, and does not deform easily, so it is ideally suited to making dolls.


Did you know?

Detailed parts of wooden dolls, such as hair ornaments, are also carved from wood. For these parts other woods harder than paulownia are used. Among the most difficult parts of making a wooden doll is carving expressive hands.



  1. (1) Carve the head, body, arms and legs out of paulownia wood
  2. (2) Give it several coats of gofun and polish the surface smooth with sandpaper
  3. (3) Place glue in the grooves on the body and insert the edges of the clothing
  4. (4) Paint the hair and face, attach the gofun-coated arms and legs to the body, and it's complete!
  • "What Are Traditional Crafts? -A Guidebook to Seeing, Learning, and Enjoying-" Edited by the Japan Kogei Association Eastern Branch. Published by Unsodo / List of works English translation: Kazuko Todate (Art critic / Art historian)


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