Transforming Edo Kimekomi Dolls From Seasonal Ornaments Into Everyday Items
- Est. 1950
- Edo Kimekomi
- Toko Kakinuma
Over 60 Years of Edo Kimekomi Dollmaking Experience
Kakinuma Dolls was established in Tokyo in 1950, primarily making dolls for traditional seasonal festivals using Edo Kimekomi techniques. When the company’s second-generation owner, Toko Kakinuma, took over, he moved the workshop to the city of Koshigaya in Saitama Prefecture. Today, Kakinuma Dolls employs over 30 artisan dollmakers.
Toko Kakinuma, who is an officially-designated traditional craftsperson, has received many accolades for his work that keeps the tradition of Edo Kimekomi alive. At the same time, he’s constantly searching for new ways to bring the craft into the modern day. Kakinuma Dolls’ “maneki neko” beckoning cat dolls, which have been in production since 1995, are one example of those efforts. Made using traditional techniques, they have proven popular both in Japan and abroad.
In 2016, the maneki neko dolls were included in The Wonder 500 selection under the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s Cool Japan strategy, which looks for Japan’s hidden regional treasures and presents them to the world.
Quality That Only Toko Kakinuma Can Deliver
Kakinuma Dolls is dedicated to creating products that will continue to be loved by customers 10, 20, and many more years later. One of their strategies for achieving that is collaborating with producers around the world using, for example, Nishijin and Italian fabrics for their maneki neko dolls and applying Aizu lacquerware techniques to their Kimekomi trays. By combining their expertise with other traditional crafts and industries, Kakinuma Dolls has managed to create a new, one-of-a-kind style of dollmaking.
The maneki neko fengshui series are particularly popular as gifts. Each color represents something different, with red attracting good health, gold economic fortune, peach good luck, and so on. This allows buyers to choose the right doll for the right gift recipient.
Message to Customers
Delivering Authentic Products That Are Worth More Than Their Price
In accordance with the saying that “technology is continuous innovation,” Kakinuma Dolls continuously endeavors to create new products using the techniques it has fostered over the years.
Every single day, they strive to deliver authentic products that are worth more than their price. They hope that by buying their products, you’ll experience the kind of joy and warmth that only handcrafted items can offer. Kakinuma Dolls will continue to pursue their dream of one day making “kimekomi” a common word heard all the time, not just in Japan, but around the world.