In Japan, there is a long-standing tradition of presenting dolls to
both girls (hina dolls) and boys (gogatsu “May” dolls) with good
wishes for their health and growth.
Toshimitsu Kakinuma, maker of Edo-style wooden seasonal
dolls,has also been involved in making Komainu Charms, which
are figures in the shape of the traditional guardian dogs that
decorate the approaches leading to shrines.
}These special dogs are said to protect the shrine grounds from
negative energy of any kind.
It is Mr. Kakinuma’s hope that these traditional wooden figures
be enjoyed on an everyday basis, for example as lucky charms
or protectors of the home space.
With this in mind he designed his dog motif figures to suit the
modern home setting. In accordance with ancient kimekomi
(wood and cloth dolls) methods, he uses natural paulownia wood
in the traditional form.
These figures are crafted with authentic technique, such that even
the unseen parts of the figures are covered in the white coating.
The guardian dogs observed at shrines often sport frightening
faces as they are considered protectors from evil.
Since these dogs are imaginary, Mr. Kakinuma says he struggled
with their facial expressions and how to show them. To resolve
his dilemma,he created cute expressions by carving more lines
into the ears, mouth,etc. He added raw silk to some of the pieces,
and also made them bright and noticeable despite their small size.
Place them together with amulets or your goshuin-cho for
good luck,or anywhere in your living room for a cute addition
to your home.
The concept of these figures, complete with pet names like “Shiro,
” “Charo,” and “Kuro,” is to present this wonderful traditional
craft to people in a very friendly way.
- Komainu Charms
- Varieties: Three
Materials: T?so (paste made from paulownia sawdust), pure silk, synthetic fibers
Dimensions: W 75mm × H 90mm × D 80mm
Weight: 50g each
Suggested retail price: ￥13,860 (one pair, tax included)
*The information on this site is as of June 2023.
*Sizes, colours and shapes of the actual products may differ slightly as they are
*Product specifications and suggested retail prices may change without prior notice.