A Porcelain Classic: Giving the Shishi the Last Laugh

Purpose of The Collaboration

Nakamura Hiromine is a fourth-generation Hakata doll maker who continues to push the bounds of traditional doll making. Nakamura’s works are contemporary yet traditional—unrestrained by preexisting styles. He has spent his career exploring a path for contemporary doll making. For this collaboration, Nakamura worked with the Kida Ceramics Factory, a kiln which specializes in Kutani ceramic molding, to create a censer in the shape of a shishi guardian lion. Such censers once enjoyed perennial popularity as decorative pieces. The Kida Ceramics Factory is a fourth-generation kiln located in Yawata, Komatsu (Ishikawa Prefecture), an area known for decorative Kutani ware sculptures. They use ceramic molding techniques to produce ceramics in the shape of zodiac animals and other auspicious motifs. In recent years, they have begun incorporating digital technology and are engaged in the preservation of techniques and styles.

Nakamura Hiromine

Born in 1986, Nakamura currently lives in Fukuoka Prefecture. After receiving an MA in fine arts sculpture from the Tokyo University of the Arts in 2011, Nakamura apprenticed under his father, the master doll maker Nakamura Shinkyo. As the fourth-generation head of Nakamura Ningyo (Nakamura Dolls), Hiromine creates works that are contemporary yet traditional.



Dalmatian with a Blue Basket Ball
Clay, pigments, wood|Painting on unglazed clay
28×34×34 cm

Kida Ceramics Factory

Established in 1935 in Yawata, Komatsu (Ishikawa Prefecture), an area known for decorative Kutani ware sculptures. The traditional artisans of the Kida Ceramics Factory use generations-old sculpting techniques to produce intricate ceramic forms such as lidded vessels and auspicious decorative pieces. Everything from the original molds to the final forms is crafted by hand, and the workshop is known for their extensive experience and uncompromising techniques.

Kida Ceramics Factory