Statue of a whale god swimming in the sky

The Whale God rides on clouds above the mountains and swims with ease. The deity protects the people who live at the foot of the mountains.

Kazunori Hagino, President of the company “山のくじら舎 (Yama-no-kujira-sha)” asked us to create a statue of the whale, the symbol of the company, as a deity. He asked us to create a whale god using the same technique used to make Buddhist statues.

What would a whale look like as a messenger of the god of the land and a guardian deity of the company?

In search of this image, we walked around the company in Aki City, observed the toy-making process in his workshop, and visited the Whale Museum to develop the image.

The final design was greatly influenced by President Hagino’s commitment to toys, his dream and ambition to create a woodworking production center, and his steady activities to preserve traditional culture.

We made this statue by Tosa cypress tree and the crystal eyes “Gyokugan(玉眼)” are inlaid using the same method used to make Buddhist statues. The inside of this statue is gouged out to reduce weight and prevent cracking, and also to insert crystal eyes.

The color of the eyes was selected from among more than 10 different colors. In fact, there was some concern that the color might be a little too subdued, but when combined with the quartz crystal (made in Yamanashi Pref.), the light stood out against the subdued blue, creating a coloring reminiscent of the Pacific Ocean and the sky, which is rather appropriate for a land surrounded by mountains and the ocean.

This summer, we placed a calligraphy inscription of President Hagino’s wish inside of this statue.

On handmade Tosa Washi paper, he expresses a prayer for the peace of Japan and the well-being of all concerned.

The calligraphy was written by 福原曉雲 Fukuhara Gyōun, a calligrapher from Kochi, Japan.

Finally, we have completed the work !

Now, the Whale God is enshrined in a renovated samurai residence in Doi-Kachu (a traditional building preservation district in Aki City). We’re very glad to see that President Hagino was very pleased.

We believe that the Whale God statue as a local deity will watch over the people of the Yama-no-kujira-sha and all those who pick up the toys and goods made by the workshop, as well as the living of the land for a long time to come.

The company is not only a manufacturer of safe and secure high-quality toys, but also produces novelty items for various companies.

We purchased the “Mamagoto Set” when our child was 2 years old, and even now, 4 years later, she still plays with it from time to time. She also used it to practice the day before a cooking experience at kindergarten.

If you are at all interested in this product, please visit the website of Yama-no-Kujira-Sha.

Their gentle and idea-filled toys, which are also used by the imperial family, will give you a fun and warm feeling just by looking at them!