Hakata-ningyo are earthenware dolls produced in the district of Hakata in the city of Fukuoka, Fukuoka Prefecture. The dolls are made using clay found near Hakata, formed into a human figure, fired unglazed and then colored with clay paints. Tradition has it that the dolls were first made when a tiler presented a doll to Kuroda Nagamasa, who became the feudal lord of this region, when Kuroda was building his castle. Broadly speaking there are three types of doll: dolls depicting beautiful women, and dolls depicting men and children, and originally most dolls were inspired by Noh, Kabuki and Ukiyo-e. Recently, craftspeople here have also begun to make dolls depicting more modern customs and lifestyles. Hakata dolls were designated a traditional craft in 1976.
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