Kenji for You Japanese

Interview with Mieko Yuki

How did you make a hundred dolls for "Kenji World"?
I was asked to make dolls in commemoration of the centennial of Kenji Miyazawa's birth. Until then I didn't know Kenji Miyazawa well, so I read some of his books. At that time, because I intended to go to "England's Coast," I imagined many things, like whether it resembled the Strait of Dover in Britain. However, I found out that "England's Coast" was just an ordinary Japanese river. I wondered why Kenji called that river "England's Coast." I imagined the reason was because Kenji strongly admired the West from reading and hearing many things, although in those days he could not go overseas. Then I discovered that "Night on the Milky Way Train" has so many names and places with the feeling of Western culture. While reading his works I vividly recalled the countryside scenery in North Europe, where I used to live when I was a child. I felt Kenji's description was like it actually must be there, and I understood that Kenji's thoughts often turned to the West. Influenced by the Kenji's strong admiration for the West, I found my own perspective for making dolls, different from other people.
What kind of person do you think Kenji was?
I think Kenji suffered from craving the limelight. This craving increased his curiosity. By looking at many things he sought his ideals. Today, people easily give up and are content with whatever they have. Few people seriously suffer like Kenji. When I was making dolls, I wanted to express Kenji's melancholy aspect instead of a superficial happiness.
I think many people feel your dolls are attractive.
My "Matasaburo of the Wind" doesn't have a face because I don't want to interfere with the image of him people have in their imaginations. My "Gorsch the Cellist" is very skinny because Gorsch tries to make really good sounds in spite of having no ability to do it. Yet he plays music as seriously as if he will die if he plays any longer.

Profile of Mieko Yuki

  • Lived abroad with her father, a diplomat, and her mother, a painter, when she was a child
  • Enrolled in the Royal Ballet Academy in England, went to "Haiyu-za Youseijyo (Acting School)," and joined the theatrical company "Kumo (Clouds)"
  • Continues to act on television, in movies, and on stage
  • Started making ceramic art in 1984 and held exhibitions of her own works seven times
  • Exhibits her works at Menard Sekigahara Land "Art House for Children" and Kenji World "Wind of Forest & Nightingale Hotel" of Shizukuishi, Iwate Prefecture
  • Has had photograph collections of her works published, such as "Viva Circus," pubulished by Sankaidou; "Carnival," Yobisya; "Dream," Shin shin do; "Clowns," Wani Books; and "Kenji World," Heibonsha;

Kenji for you The World of Kenji Miyazawa