Sunday, June 24, 2007

Hikaru Dorodango

The name sounds very Japanese. Is this the title of the latest manga or anime you haven't discovered yet? Or is this another J-Drama?

It's a form of art, alright. But it is not related to the type of arts aforementioned. It is entertaining, alright, but that depends on what you consider as entertaining.

Hikaru dorodango is loosely translated as "the mud ball that shines", or shiny mud ball, and it is what it is. The mud ball really shines!

Hikaru dorodango is an activity school children love to play since I don't know when, and is an almost extinct art in the modern age, but a professor from Kyoto made a study on it and managed to revive the art of dorodango. The dorodango is now no longer just a kid's play. Adults too have shown interest of making this pretty thing. People from outside Japan also show interests in making dorodango.

The basic steps of creating hikaru dorodango is simple:
  1. Shape mud into a ball.
  2. Dry.
  3. Polish.
And you don't even need special things to do it. You just need your hands!

Making shiny mud balls may sounds boring to you, you wouldn't even think of giving it a try. But watching the pretty balls evolved from a humble dull-looking mud might keep you attached to it, and even proceeding with experimenting with various types of soils. By the way, different soils will yield different results, and I think even the different compositions of the same stuff will give you different results.

There are many sites telling you on how to make a dorodango yourself, step-by-step, but here is the most comprehensive I have found (at the moment this post is written), complete with precautions and pictures on how the mud ball should look like as you progress.

And here is the three mysteries of hikaru dorodango.

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