Dorodango

dorodango

Dorodango is a Japanese art form in which earth and water are molded to create a delicate shiny sphere, resembling a marble or billiard ball. The phrase is derived from ‘doro’ (‘mud’) and ‘dango’ (a round dumpling, created from pressed rice flour). Making the basic dorodango is a traditional pastime for school children.

More recently the process has been refined into the art of the ‘hikaru’ (‘shining’) dorodango, which has a glossy or patterned surface. The core of the ball is made of basic mud, and further dusted with finer-grained soil before the water is drawn out through various methods- even sealing the ball inside a plastic bag and letting the water evaporate and then condense. Once the ball is fully tempered and hardened, it is polished by hand and displayed.

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