Japanese make big dolls like real to reduce loneliness

A woman made dolls like her relatives and neighbours have died and now the doll is 10 times more than the residents in the village.

The photos were taken by photographer Trevor Mogg, 49 (English) recently when travelling through the village of Nagora, east of Shikoku (Japan).

Nagoro Village currently has 37 elderly people. During his tour, photographer Trevor Mogg saw about 150 dolls, out of at least 350 scattered in the village.

They were everywhere she sees, including the bus stop, in front of the house, on the road, in public areas, fields, parking lots, as if they were engaged in all life activities, Trevor told The Sun.

Những con búp bê ở khắp mọi nơi trong làng. Ảnh: Trevor Mogg.

The dolls were created by 65-year-old Tsukimi Ayano, one of the youngest residents of Nagoro village. In 2000, she left Osaka to take care of her father. Seeing that the place was too dull and lonely, Tsukimi began making dolls in an optimistic effort to help the “crowded” population.

“The village didn’t have a young man, meaning the local school was closed six years ago because there were no children”, the photographer Trevor added.

Một con búp bê cô đơn tựa cột. Ảnh: Trevor Mogg.

The replacement dolls in Nagoro village are miniature models of Japanese society with a serious decline in fertility. Japan’s population has gradually decreased, currently about 127 million. It is estimated that this number will be reduced to less than 100 million in the next 35 years.

Cities in Japan have implemented policies to encourage fertility, as well as to attract young people. Recently, the Japanese Prime Minister issued a policy to open 340,000 workers in the next 5 years to this country, in order to cope with the shortage of manpower. Rethink Tokyo also statistics that in 2013, there were 8.2 million abandoned houses in the whole of Japan and many prefectures were giving free houses to people.

The legal battle between dolls and rebel dolls

The legal dispute between the two world famous doll brands involves designers working for both firms.

Barbie is the name and brand of a famous doll announced by Mattel toy corporation in 1959. After Barbie “dominated” the toy market for 42 years, the Bratz dolls line of entertainment group MGA is born.

First appearing on screen in 2001 with a big head, thin body, thick lips, tight shirt and hippi-style jeans, Bratz dolls blew a breath of fresh air into the market for children’s toys. By 2006, Bratz dolls accounted for 40% of the doll market.

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In April 2005, MGA sued Mattel for stealing the “big head, thin body” of Bratz to design a version of My Scene in the Barbie series. Mattel countered by accusing artist Carter Bryant, who designed the dolls for MGA, that he built the idea of ​​a Bratz doll while still working for Mattel. Bryant worked for Mattel in two phases – September 1995 to April 1998 and January 1999 to October 2000. Bryant’s employment contract specifies every Bryant design to be Mattel’s property.

It was not until 2008 that the court heard the case between the two firms. Mattel accused MGA of manipulating Bryant while he was still working for Mattel. MGA’s lawyer said that Bryant created Bratz outside working hours so the labor result belongs to him.

In a July 2008 ruling, the court ordered MGA to pay Mattel $ 100 million because the first generation of Bratz dolls – including four samples of Cloe, Jade, Sasha and Yasmin – were born while Bryant was still working for Mattel. In December 2008, the court forced MGA to stop manufacturing and selling Bratz dolls.

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MGA appealed and in the appeal court, one judge concluded that Mattel could only claim ownership of the first four Bratz dolls and the next two models, not the whole sample MGA produced.

However, MGA later sued Mattel for stealing trade secrets related to Bratz dolls. In July 2010, the US District 9 Court of Appeals declared that MGA had the right to sell Bratz. On April 21, 2011, the court declared that Mattel stole 26 trade secrets of MGA, so the company had to pay MGA 3.4 million USD, making Mattel total compensation of 88.5 million USD. In addition, Mattel also had to pay the cost of up to 170 million USD.

Making Paper Dolls With Your Kids

 

Kids nowadays seem to be missing out on a “real” childhood. When we were children, we used to play hide and seek, tag, red-light green-light, or some arts and crafts project. Kids now are so absorbed with experiencing the latest technology and rather contact with friends on social media than meet face to face. What attracts them is the “We have free Wifi” at restaurants or public places and you can barely grasp their attention to have a family dinner. There is also less appreciation for homemade gifts or board games than before. Everything is offered by apps and available in the palm of your hands. How can we drive children’s interests to the simpler things instead of owning their own electronic device? Try doing something active and creative with them.

How to Make Paper Dolls

Making paper dolls with your kids is a fun project! Whether you are having a play date or sleepover or are spending quality time, it is a great activity to take part in with your kids. Encourage them to make some paper dolls and tell them an identity or background stories. This activity is also inexpensive because you can use paper in your house. By this way, you will no longer have to spend a lot of money on Barbie and friends, Barbie Glam convertibles, and Barbie dream house.  Moreover, playing with paper dolls give your children the opportunity to progress their motor skills and bring out their imaginative side. Studies show that making kindergartners and special needs kids cut out paper dolls is an effective occupational therapy practice.

Barbie vs. Paper dolls

I’m sure there is not much excitement in buying a paper doll from Barbie while paper dolls can help kids be able to create a true representation of what people look like. We parents can help them understand the realistic standards of beauty instead of being misled by Barbie dolls and the media. For many years, people have been angry at Barbie for not creating dolls with practical proportions. Unluckily, young girls playing with Barbie dolls are inspired by their beauty and try to emulate them when they grow older. So, encouraging your kids to make their own dolls and make replicas of themselves to solve these misconceptions.

How to Make Synthetic Doll Hair (part 2)

Step 4. Press a sewing needle to the glue.

Place a sewing needle along the glue line you have just applied before the tacky glue gets dried. It helps to pinch the synthetic hair together under the needle. You should pinch the hair as close to the needle as possible. This process helps to force the glue to seep through the hair and glues all the strands of hair together at the center. Keep the needle there until the glue dries.

  • Once again, because this may be difficult to do on your own while you have to hold the hair in one hand, and the needle in the other, you should ask a friend for help.

Step 5. Remove the sewing needle.

When the glue is dry, remove the needle carefully by sliding it out from the hair bundle. After having removed the needle, you can flip the hair over. You should have two distinctive halves of hair with a dip in the center where the needle has been.

  • As with the previous steps, you can ask a friend for help with this one. It is helpful and easier for you to do if you have a friend hold the hair in the right place while you slide the needle out.

Step 6. Glue the hair to the doll’s head.

Use hot glue for fabric dolls and tacky glue for plastic dolls. Don’t use too much glue because it may seep through the hair, creating knots in the hair. Apply a thin glue line to the center of the doll’s head. Press the hair’s center strip to this glue line and keep it pressed there till the glue dries.

Lift up one side of the hair at this part and apply a thin glue line, spreading it around the side of the head. Just use a tiny bit of glue. Repeat this method on the other side of the doll’s hair.

Press all the hair down so that the glue can bond to it.

Step 7. Style your doll hair.

Style your doll’s hair however you want. You can braid it, curl it, cut it shorter, or put it in a ponytail.

How to Make Synthetic Doll Hair (part 1)

Step 1. Remove the synthetic hair from the bag. This may be difficult because the synthetic hair is fine and sometimes tangled or bunched up when being packaged. Remove the small bunches of hair slowly at a time, smooth them out when you go, and remove any fuzzy bits.

  • You should use your fingers periodically, or even a doll comb, to comb through the tangled bits of the synthetic hair because it can get tangled easily.
  • Keep removing each small hair bunches and smooth them out until you have a long line of hair.

Step 2. Cut the synthetic hair to the length you desire. When you have removed and sorted the synthetic hair, you can cut the hair to the length that is appropriate for your doll. Cut it to the length that you desire. Because the hair will drape over the head of your doll, you should cut the hair to double the length of the doll’s hair that you want.

  • Synthetic hair may be difficult to cut because it’s usually unwieldy to handle. Therefore, you should dampen the hair to make it stay together more, helping you better judge where to cut.

Step 3. Apply glue to the center of the hair of your doll. Tightly wrap the hair strands around your pointer and middle finger. You should wrap the hair so that the hair’s midpoint is resting on your index finger. Then vertically apply a thin layer of tacky glue across the center of the strands. You should cover as many strands as you can.

  • If you have to struggle to move the glue in a straight line, ask somebody else to do this part for you. It may be hard for you to hold the doll’s hair with one hand and maneuver the tacky glue with the other.

 

How to Make Yarn Doll Hair (part 3)

Step 7. Repeat this process with less yarn. You need to redo this process one more time. But you should stop winding the yarn after having moved about 1 – 2 inch across the DVD case.

Then, if you have any trouble keeping the yarn in place with your fingers, secure the end of the yarn by using a piece of scotch tape.

Remember to wind the yarn around the case, use tape to secure the smooth edges, and cut the yarn by tucking a pair of scissors under the notch in the DVD case.

When you’ve finished, secure the strands with tissue paper and sew down.

Step 8. Glue the larger piece of doll’s hair to your doll’s head. Grab the larger piece of your sewn bunch of yarn hair. Remember that it has a part which runs roughly 3 – 3.5 inches in length. Prepare your hot glue gun. When the glue is hot enough, put a line of glue down on the seam you have just made and then press it to the head’s top center of your doll. Hold it until the glue gets dried. After that, you can flip over the hair and enjoy your finished doll hair.

If glue cannot hold the hair in the exact place you want and if your doll is fabric, you can sew the hair directly to the doll’s head. Then take an extra piece of yarn and backstitch the hair to the top of the head of your doll by using a long needle. It is more helpful to go over the seam twice.

If you’re making yarn hair for a plastic doll, you may want to use tacky glue instead of hot glue. However, remember that synthetic hair seems to look better on plastic dolls.

Step 9. Add a side part with the smaller strand. Take your smaller strand of hair with the part running 1 – 2 inches in length. Repeat the same process with the larger part. However, slightly place the part to the right or left of the center of your doll’s scalp to create a side part as well as to add some layers to the hair of your doll.

Step 10. Style your doll hair. You can braid the hair, paint the hair, cut the hair, make a ponytail, or do anything else you want. You can just leave it how it is if you don’t want to style it.

How to Make Yarn Doll Hair (part 2)

Step 4. Use tissue paper to secure the yarn.

Cut off a thin tissue paper piece roughly 4 by 8 inches. Lay the tissue paper piece on a flat surface. Put the taped portion of the yarn between each tape strand on the tissue paper issue. Fold the tissue paper over this taped portion of the yarn, then make the yarn sandwiched between the tissue paper.

You must have a long line of yarn strands with the tissue paper locating on the halfway point between the strands. By doing this, hair is forming and the place of the tissue paper represents the place of the doll.

Step 5. Sew the yarn to the tissue paper.

Sew all your yarn strands together, working through the middle of the tissue paper. Sew up the middle vertically so that you have a straight line of the thread which goes through all your layers in the center. You should have a hair group on each side which meets in the middle, where your thread helps to hold the strands together.

  • You can sew them together manually if you are savvy with a needle. Otherwise, if you have a sewing machine, you can use it to sew a straight line through them.
  • Use tight and small stitches. They help to keep the hair secure.

Step 6. Remove the tissue paper.

Now your strands are sewed together, therefore, you can remove the tissue paper at the sides of the sewed line. Remove it gently, slowly, and carefully in order not to tear out any thread. Tweezers may be helpful. All that should remain are the two yarn doll hair strands with the thread which holds them together in the center.

Try trimming some of the tissue paper off with a small pair of scissors if you’re struggling to remove it. Make sure to be careful not to snip any of the yarn by mistake.

How to Make a Baseball Hat for your doll

 

A baseball hat is a perfect accessory for your doll’s sports outfit. However, it may be impossible to find a doll-sized baseball hat to fit your doll. It doesn’t matter because you can make your own doll hat and choose the right size, color, and style. You can even make one hat to match every outfit of your doll. This requires just little sewing skills and a little bit of time.

Materials

  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • 6 inch by 26 inch square of fabric for hat
  • 6 inch by 26 inch square of fabric for lining
  • 4 inch by 10 inch clothing rubber
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine

Step 1: Measure the circumference of your doll’s head around the top of her ears.

Step 2: Use a pencil to draw a circle on a piece of paper with a circumference a little larger than the circumference of your doll’s head. Cut along the circle. Divide it into four triangular sections (like pizza slices), then cut the four sections out.

Step 3: Pin these four triangular sections to the fabric. Cut out the fabric along the edges of the triangular pattern then remove the pins. Do this step again with the fabric for the lining of the doll’s hat.

Step4: Pin the four fabric triangular sections together to form the shape of a hat. Sew the four sections together. Do this step again with the lining of the doll’s hat.

Step 5: Flip the doll’s hat inside out and put the lining inside it, the wrong side facing outward. Sew along the edge of the doll’s hat and leave a small open space in the front of the doll’s hat.

Step 6: Pull the hat right side out through this small open space.

Step 7: Cut the rubber into a “U” shape for the brim of the hat. Therefore, make it about 2-3 inches across and about 2-3 inches deep to fit your doll. Trace this rubber onto the hat fabric and the lining fabric, leaving 1/4 inch extra fabric on one side to sew the brim with the hat. Cut out the pieces and sew them together so that they tightly cover the clothing rubber.

Step 8: Bend the rubber to form a brim shape. Sew it to the front of the doll’s hat, tuck the extra fabric into the doll’s hat and close the small open space.

 

How to Make Yarn Doll Hair (part 1)

Step 1: Use a DVD case to wind the yarn around.

Prepare a DVD case and a spool of yarn. Then wrap the yarn around the DVD case. There are two sides of a DVD case: a smooth side, and a notched one, where the case opens. Start at the notched side, wind the yarn towards the DVD case’s center. Make sure to wind the yarn fairly tight and close together so that no yarn is overlapping and there are no gaps in yarn.

Keep winding the yarn up to 3-3.5 inches across the DVD. Push the yarn together to fill in any gaps in the yarn.

If you find it difficult to keep the yarn in place with your fingers only, you can use a piece of scotch tape to tape down the end of the yarn.

Step 2: Tape off the yarn.

When your yarn is wound around the DVD case, take two long pieces of scotch tape. Use these tapes on the smooth side of the DVD case. Just underneath the smooth side, on the front and the back of the DVD case, tape down the yarn. The yarn should be securely taped to the DVD case.

Step 3: Cut the yarn.

Slip a pair of scissors underneath the notched edge of the DVD case and use them to cut through the yarn on this side of the DVD case. After that, un-tape the yarn on the smooth side of the DVD case, keep the tape attached securely to the yarn. You can see something of a wig forming. The tape will create a mark where the doll’s part will be. There may be strands of loose yarn which come off either side this part.

If you have difficulty cutting the yarn, try using a sharper pair of scissors. You had better use sewing scissors than normal craft ones if you don’t want the hair of your doll to look uneven.

How to make Brushed Mohair Wig for dolls

If you have decided the recipient for your dolls’ hair, you can consider the hairstyle which is most suitable for their personality. Here is the instruction to make Brushed Mohair Wig style for your dolls.

When you choose the mohair style, there are two things you must consider: whether to use the bouclé mohair which gives your doll a more curly look or to use the long-staple mohair which creates the fluffy cap for her.

If you choose the fluffy cap, you will create a “hat” that fits your doll quite snuggly. There are two ways you can choose to do this: knit it or crochet it,.

I usually crochet the caps, but other doll makers may choose to knit them with the same results. Then you can brush it with a wire pet/comb brush to tease the mohair fibers from the nylon binding, that can create the hairy halo.

Another method is to crochet each stitch and pull the mohair fiber to the other side of your doll’s cap when you go along. You don’t have to brush your doll’s hair with a wire comb and in my opinion, this method creates the fluffiest wigs ever. This is such a beautiful way to add hair to your doll. It is both practical and playful because when time passes by, your doll’s hair will mat but you can easily tease it again and revive the cap.

The fact that the doll’s ages in appearance as time goes by is one of the most useful aspects of creating this hairstyle for dolls. The doll is not static and frozen in time, especially with a plastic doll, it takes ages and life experience along with you or your child.

To make suitable mohair yarn, you should abstain from using mohair meant for knitting. The staple is not long enough to properly cover the doll’s head, so stick to mohair yarn which is specifically created for doll making.

I highly recommend Dolly Mo and/or Wild Brushable as these yarns were created and designed by doll makers themselves.

You can find them online here: Mohair Yarns. There are several Canada and US suppliers as well: Reggie’s Dolls in the USA and Bear Dance Crafts in Canada.