Clay doll - Umanori Saru


The 82 years old craftsman Reizo’s terra-cotta-touched monkey dolls have been loved and believed as a protector for people from getting ill and preventing them from evil spirits.  

The horseback riding monkey represents the Shogun (samurai) riding on the horse in the old days. It is the symbol of  strong will and luck.

Each piece is handmade in Kumamoto Japan, and varies slightly, making each piece unique. 

  • Approximate measurements:
    • S: 3 1/2"H x 2 1/3"W x 2 1/2"D
    • M: 5 1/2" H x 3" W x 3" D
    • L: 7 3/4" H x 4" W x 4" D
  • Material: red clay
  • Care instruction:     to clean, gently wipe the surface with a dry cloth.
  • Do not hand wash or get wet.


It has been said that the origin of this Dangozaru doll was approximately 1300 years ago. Currently the 7th generation, Reizo Nagata, who was born in 1940 and his daughter Sae are making these monkey clay dolls by hand. They use local red soil, process them into clay in their backyard and hand build each doll without using molds.