Shimoura Bentenkai - Clay doll, "Benten sama"


In Japanese mythology and folk tales, there're the Seven Gods of Fortunes. The Benten-sama is the only female god from the Seven Lucky Gods. 

Benten-sama is the symbol of knowledge, art, beauty and especially music. She is holding a pipa guitar.

Each doll is hand painted and have unique characteristics. 

  • Approximate measurements: 2" W x 3 3/4" H
  • Weight: 1.6 oz
  • Material: clay
  • Care instruction: to clean, gently wipe the surface with a dry cloth. 
  • Do not hand wash or get wet.


Clay dolls from Amakusa city in Kumamoto prefecture.  Shimoura-benten-kai has started in 2013 as a group to support local businesses and traditional techniques to create the dolls.  This small town in Amakusa used to be a well known place for clay dolls and has more than 300 years of history. Unfortunately most craftsman have retired but recently a few number of women have volunteered to learn the techniques to create dolls and carry on the tradition.