mato ryoko by masahiko yoshihara (1) mato ryoko by masahiko yoshihara (2)

Borrowing from the concept and technique of Russian matryoshka nesting dolls, designer Masahiko Yoshihara has created a doll with a surprise inside. Mato Ryoko appear to be a regular peasant girl but when the top comes off there’s a bikini-clad woman inside.

“A person’s outer appearance, words, reputation and position gives us preconceptions, and we often fail to see the essence (the middle) of a person,” says Yoshihara. “This shape-transforming figure expresses that situation.”

He designed the doll in hopes that we can be more aware of how we perceive people and focus on the essence rather than external appearances. Yoshihara’s design won the excellence prize at a Tokyo Midtown Design Awards 2 years ago. It’s now part of a self-titled exhibition at Milano Salone.