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Travel Trade & Media
Denim Daruma at ACRAFT,  AOI STUDIO

Denim Daruma at ACRAFT, AOI STUDIO

Professional Skateboarder Creates Daruma Dolls From Denim

Daruma dolls have long been a cherished object in Japan—symbolizing good luck and fortune and serving as tangible representations of people’s dreams. Traditionally, these dolls are painted bright red and have pale faces decorated with wide, pupil-less eyes, crane-esque eyebrows and turtle-shaped beards.

In Kanagawa, Aoi Shimizu—a Kanagawa-born, former professional skateboarder—has uniquely reimagined this traditional doll using denim! After retiring from his skating career, Shimizu desired to create something artistic and found inspiration in worn jeans discarded by skateboarders, noting that no two pairs were the same. He merged the denim with traditional Japanese culture and perfected his idea over the course of a few years, before finally producing the denim Daruma as it appears today. Shimizu models his dolls after Soushu Daruma from Hiratsuka City, which have crane eyebrows, a turtle beard, and a Mount Fuji mouth—all elements related to good luck.

Each Daruma is handcrafted with different denim, making it a truly one-of-a-kind product. 

You can buy this special Daruma by messaging Shimizu on Instagram or visiting his shop ACRAFT, AOI STUDIO in Yokohama, Kanagawa.

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