Overview of producing areas Gobo doll

Gobo doll Gobo doll
産地風景 産地風景


This is a seasonal children's festival for praying for safety from sickness and accidents. In Japan, there is a custom of sending dolls as a part of celebrations. Gobo dolls have been handed down from ancient times in the area around Gobo City, Wakayama Prefecture. Many varieties of Gobo doll, such as Tenjin-san, Tawaramochi (straw bale carrier), Taichin and Sambaso, stand together in line to watch over the healthy growth of children.
作業の様子 作業の様子

Varieties of Gobo doll

Gobo dolls can be divided into two types, papier-mâché and paste, depending on the materials used and the specifications. For papier-mâché dolls, paper or other materials are pasted in layers onto a base form. The base form is removed after drying, and the item is painted. Paste dolls are formed by pressing a mixture of ground sawdust powder and glue onto a form. The inside is carved out and the doll is dried and painted.

<i>Tawaramochi</i> (straw bale carrier)

Tawaramochi (straw bale carrier)

This doll is a lucky charm that depicts a sumo wrestler baring a shoulder to powerfully lift a bale of rice straw.

<i>Taichin</i> (dog and fish)

Taichin (dog and fish)

This is a cute paste doll work with a charming expression.



This paste doll is patterned after a Noh doll performing the Sambaso dance, a number normally performed by a kyogen performer during a Noh play.

<i>Tora Kato</i>

Tora Kato

This paste doll is modeled after an incident in which Kato Kiyomasa, a military commander in the Age of Warring States, defeated a tiger. With a rising-sun fan in one hand, he rides the tiger and declares victory.

伝統工芸の種類 伝統工芸の種類

Traditional crafts of Wakayama