Rochelle Paula Lum, a native San Franciscan graduated in Theatre Arts with emphasis in scenic design and puppetry. She has traveled and lived abroad in Japan studying their folk art culture and theatrical arts (ie Kabuki and Bunraku). She worked /studied traditional Bunraku and modern puppet construction at a puppet company in Japan.
It was during a Cherry Blossom Festival 30 years ago that she saw a Washi Ningyo Japanese Paper Doll demonstration by instructor Yurie Nakamura and decided to learn the art from her. This eventually lead to team teaching the art with her.
There is a uniqueness to the art of Japanese Paper Doll making. One could learn Japanese history and culture through the making of a single doll and at the same time see how the paper/dolls come alive through simple hand manipulations. There is a certain unexplainable beauty in this process.
In order to keep, preserve and share the Japanese Art of Washi Ningyo, it needs to be shown and taught. The support of JCCCNC in the heart of Japantown has allowed this to happen.
Many who came to see or learn, are from different walks of life and places. They may live close or travel from afar. But all who cross this path will leave with a smile knowing they experienced something very special.