Dodorodango Are Soothing Japanese Balls


One of the coolest things about running this site is learning about new types of balls from all over the world. We’ve been doing this for over a year and we just now found out about dodorodango, a unique form of Japanese sculpture where artisans take smooth mud and slowly and steadily roll it between their hands to create beautiful marbled orbs.

Using straw, silica sand and a clay-based soil, dodorodango artisans create a core for their balls and leave it out in the sun for several days to harden. From there, they re-apply additional layers of soil in different colors over a long period of time. The reason for this is that the exterior dries quicker than the damp core, and if the ball is too big that tension will cause it to form cracks.

It’s an art form that rewards patience, but the end results are beautiful. Once a dodorodango is at its final size, it’s covered with sand-based plaster and then very thin layers of colored clay paste. The final step is to coat the ball with olive oil and polish it. A glass jar is used to slowly and evenly wear away at the surface until it is a perfect sphere glistening with otherworldly color. They sort of look like the kind of candy you’d eat in a really trippy dream.

The Japan News has more on dodorodango, including detailed instructions on how to make your own if you so desire.