History of Japanese doll Japanese dolls that originally came into being as object of worship, turned into beloved toys in the Heian period. The word ‘Ningyo’ became widely known in the Edo period. Their detailed and elegant design had been established ever since the beautiful aesthetic subjects such as Noh and Kabuki were adopted into doll production. The artistic techniques have been handed down until today.

About Mataro Doll

The origin of ‘Kimekomi Doll’, one of the production methods of Japanese dolls, is said to be invented by Tadashige Takahashi, the craftsman served for Kamigamo Shrine of Kyoto in the late 1730s. Out of interest, he made some small dolls with some surplus material from willow boxes and remaining cloth from Shinto priests' costumes. Since then the doll has gone through various changes. Eikichi Yoshino, the doll artisan from Tokyo, established contemporary Kimekomi doll by bringing back production technique from Kyoto and improving it. ‘Mataro Doll’ originated from Kimekomi Doll has received the authorization of the solo legitimate heir to Kimekomi Doll by Kamigamo Shrine and been inherited over a century since the establishment in 1919.

Taking part in the project

Over a hundred year's inheritance, the Mataro Doll has endeavored to keep pace with changing times and create numorous works. We see the collaboration with GIBIATE PROJECT as an opportunity to introduce the excellence of Japanese dolls and traditional art to the world, and to our next generation.


Mataro Kanabayashi the Third

Brief Biography

Director of Gangu-ningyou Health Insurance Society

Director of Council of the Tokyo Hina Dolls

Wholesalers' Association

Chairman of Tokyo Seasonal Festival Fair Association

He took interest in Japanese traditional art and learned doll making technique from his father Mataro the Second. For learning sculpture and sketch, he apprenticed himself to Hideo Shimada - the Councillor of Nitten Exhibition, and Shigeki Yamazaki - the member of Nitten Exhibition / Japan Sculptors Association. He has promoted doll making as a comprehensive art and been creating many graceful masterpieces by integrate modern ‘Mataro style’ into the traditional techniques of Kimekomi Doll.

  • In 1962, Born in Tokyo
  • In 1986, Graduated from the faculty of law, Keio University
  • In 1986, Entered Mitsukoshi Co., Ltd. Nihombashi Main Store
  • In 1988, Left Mitsukoshi Co., Ltd. Nihombashi Main Store
  • In 1988, Entered Mataro Doll Co., Ltd.
  • In 2000, Certified as Traditional Craftsman of Japan, designated by the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry
  • In 2001, Took office as the Managing Director of Japanese Dolls' Association
  • In 2006, Took office as the President of Mataro Doll Ltd. / the Director of Mataro Doll Craft Academy
  • In 2013, Succeeded to the name Mataro Kanabayashi the Third
  • In 2014, Took office as the Chairman of Japanese Dolls' Association