• twitter
  • facebook





Kimekomi Dolls

The history of Kimekomi-ningyo, or Kimekomi dolls, stretches back to mid-Edo Period, when it is said that Tadashige Takahashi, a carpenter and craftsman in service of the family of Shinto priests at Kamigamo Shrine in Kyoto, used the remnants of a tree he had used to make an offertory box to fashion a small wooden doll. Takahashi dressed the doll by cutting narrow grooves into the wooden body and tucking scraps of cloth from priest’s clothing into them; the name “kimekomi” literally means “tucked into the wood grooves”. The dolls made their way to Edo (old Tokyo), where the doll making techniques were further refined as Edo culture flourished. In the latter half of the Meiji Period, craftsmen began to use toso, (a resin compound made from a mixture of paulownia sawdust and starch) to fashion the dolls out of a mold instead of carving them out of wood—which made it possible to produce them in large quantities and in different shapes, leading to the wide variety of Kimekomi-ningyo seen today.

Kimekomi-Ningyo Craftsman

Toshimitsu Kakinuma

1950 First-generation dollmaker Toko Kakinuma establishes Kakinuma Ningyo, specializing in Edo Kimekomi dolls for Girl’s Day (Hina-ningyo) and Boy’s Day (Gogatsu-ningyo), and costumed based on historical figures (Fuzoku-ningyo)
1994 Second-generation Toko Kakinuma assumes the position of CEO.
2005 Becomes a disciple of dollmaker Eiko Serikawa while working alongside Toko Kakinuma at the Kakinuma Ningyo atelier.

Submitted maneki-neko (beckoning cat) dolls to French trade show Maison & Objet in January, and German trade show Ambiente in March. Selected as an Ambiente Trend 2016.




Edo Kimekomi-ningyo are designated as a Traditional Craft by the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry. Toshimitsu Kakinuma and his older brother of Kakinuma Ningyo represent the next generation of dollmakers. They carry on the tradition passed down to them from their father, Kimekomi-ningyo dollmaker Toko Kakinuma, while developing new products and ideas for their craft. Currently the one to watch is their adorable maneki-neko. “The round, plump look of Kimekomi-ningyo was a perfect match for the beckoning cat. In addition to the Nishijin fabric (a traditional brocade produced in Kyoto used for kimono and other accessories) and silk that we usually use on dolls for seasonal festivals, we also use leather and enamel,” says Kakinuma. With natural stones for eyes and an aura of positive energy, these good luck cats were destined to be welcomed with open arms; they are currently also available in Europe. At the Ambiente trade show in Germany, they were selected as an Ambiente Trend 2016 product. “I think we have the cat to thank for all of this good fortune (laughs). Anywhere between 20 to 30 craftsmen are involved throughout the process for making the dolls for Girl’s Day. Hopefully these beckoning cats can serve as an introduction to the beauty of our tradition.”

Kakinuma Ningyo


/ Shop Information :

Adress:2-174-4, Shichiza-cho, Koshigaya-shi, Saitama

/ Telephone:

Hours of Operation:10:00~18:00
(Only between the middle of November and the middle of April)

(Closed for year-end and New Year holidays, and between the end of February until 3/3)

/ Website: