Art Of Polishing Dirt Balls To Perfection

Published : 4/28/2018

The making of ‘dorodango‘ is a traditional pastime for Japanese schoolchildren, that has grown into an art form in its own right.

The dodorango is actually a ball made from mud and dirt, and now people are painstakingly and methodically refining these balls into “hikaru dorodango” (literally: ‘shiny dumpling’), perfect, polished spheres that can take days to complete.

The process is meditative and deeply satisfying, and is seen by many as the primary motivation for the art. Layer upon layer of fine dirt is applied to the mud core, forming a hard outer shell. This is then polished with a cloth to give the dorodango an appearance similar to that of a snooker ball, perfectly round and shiny to an unbelievable degree.

The process starts with collecting the soil

Sifting soil through sieve

Starts the shaping process

Ball is shaped to perfection

Then it is left to dry for at least 20 minutes

And then after "lots" of polishing turns into a shiny ball!


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