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Role: Hidari Jingorō (左甚五郎)

Lifetime: 1596 - 1644

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Biography:

Basil Hall Chamberlain called him "Japan's most famous sculptor... born in 1594."

"Hidari Jingorō (1596-1644), a master temple carpenter (miya-shi) by trade, who is reputed to have crafted life-sized ningyō on the side, is probably the earliest documented carver of what were later to be termed "iki ningyō." Legend has it that in order to accomplish all of the tasks assigned to him, Jingorō decided to create his own assis tants. [sic] To this end, he crafted a group of ningyō that were so realistic they actually came to life and helped him in all of his labors. When he was done with them, however, he threw them all into the river where they became kappa (water demons)."

Quoted from: Ningyō: The Art of the Japanese Doll by Alan Scott Pate.