Shimoura Bentenkai - Clay doll, "Hipparidako"


Hipparidako is a combined word of 'Hipparu' and 'Tako'. In Japanese the word "Hipparu" means "to pull" and Tako means "octopus". Hipparidako means something hugely popular and to be pulled by everyone or pulling things towards yourself. An octopus having eight arms is meant to symbolize people being pulled into happiness and good fortunes.

Each doll is hand painted and have unique characteristics.

  • Sold separately
  • Approximate measurements: 2 1/2" W x 3 1/2"H
  • Weight: 3.06 oz
  • Material: clay, paper
  • 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.