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Artisan creates Okinawa-design Matryoshka's

Date Posted: 2012-05-18

Illustrator and craft artist Prickynuu is attracting plenty of attention with her unique, original design Matryoshka that seemingly are flying off the shelves across Okinawa.

The Hokkaido-turned-Okinawa artist has teamed with craft partner Feliz Sundry Shop located in Urasoe City’s Miyagi district, but she’s not turning her back on all the friends and customers she’s met while hawking her works on Kokusai Street since coming to the island nearly 12 years ago.

Prickynuu is keeping her original illustrations, but is spreading out her original Okinawan characters she calls ‘Kariyushi Store’. Her original characters adorn post cards, seals or roly-poly at dozens of shops around Kokusai Street. Her favorite, and most popular, is the Okinawa Matryoshka. She’s integrated a good many designs like Eisa Matryoshka, Ryukyu Dance Matryoshka, Bingata Kimono Matryoshka, Go-ya Matryoshka, Yanbaru Kuina Matryoshka, and…and…and.

Her process works like this; she starts with plain Matryoshka from Russia. Simple enough, but not good enough for Prickynuu. She then sets about drawing Okinawa designs to each, by hand. Once drawn, she paints each with acrylic color paints, then covers them with varnish. All works are handmade, so each shows a different look. Be assured there’s no duplicate Matryoshka anywhere in the world, and that’s why, she says, “so many are waiting or looking for her works, and waiting for new ones.”

The Matryoshka are available in shops on Kokusai Street in Naha. They’re often hard to come by, because they’ve become favorites of foreigners as well as Japanese. Prickynuu says she’s thinking about the next stage, where she will make portrait Matryoshka. She’s not sure yet, she says, whether the idea will be eccentric, or one born to be a success.

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