Folk Toy Bell – Magpie

A handmade clay magpie bell from Saga Prefecture.

£32 per item

The craft of nogomi ningyō, nogomi dolls, started after World War II as a means to soothe people’s hearts and minds. As such, these little clay figurines first started to be sold as good luck charms and talismans at the Yūtoku Inari shrine, the third largest Inari shrine in Japan. Inari is a kami (spirit or deity) in shintō religion, associated with the rice harvest, household well-being and foxes – who act as her messengers. Inari is one of the most widely venerated shintō deities in Japan.
These dolls are all made by hand using moulds to create the two sides which are joined together before firing them in a kiln at over 900 degrees Celsius. Afterwards they are coated with a white paint called gofun, that serves as the base onto which to paint all of the other colours.
This particular doll was modelled on the black and white feathered magpies of Saga Prefecture, known as kasasagi. Magpies in Saga are also called kachigarasu; ‘kachi‘ due to their chirping resembling the sound “kachi-kachi“, and ‘garasu/karasu‘ the word for crow. Kachi also means victory in Japanese, therefore magpies are thought to bring happiness and figurines such as these are used to pray for victory.

The paint is not waterproof.
As each piece is handmade, there might be individual differences.

Size: L8.7 cm x W4.8 cm x H5.2 cm

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