This set of dolls was made for Japanese Boy’s Day. It comes from one of Japanese folklores, Peach Boy, Momotaro. Momo is translated to peach and Taro (ta-ro-o) is a common name for boys. The writing on the label (on the box) is "Wakana Ningyo", the date of purchase is the 10th years of Taisho (1921), 92 years ago! The condition is excellent (old but new condition) - the set appears newer than it actually is in the photos. Momotaro's fan (made out of one piece of paper) is bent ...click for details
Fine old zuishin dolls from the Meiji period (1868-1912), approx. 8” (20.3cm) tall. Zuishin dolls are commonly called daijin (minister) dolls; the elder man on the right (facing) is called "left daijin" and the younger man, right daijin or ya (arrows) daijin. They were created as an addition to the emperor and empress Dairi-bina sometime in the mid 18th century by Kyoto doll makers. Armed with a sword, bow and arrows, they were the toneri (zuishin) from the Heian court (794-11 ...click for details
Exquisite Japanese Doll "Chinbiki Kanjo", a young court lady with a Chin dog, dated from late Meiji to Taisho period. The Chin-biki doll was a popular addition to the hina dolls from mid Meiji (1900) to 1930. Chin dogs (Japanese spaniel), have been in existence in Japan as early as 7th to 8th century. They were rare dogs and were favored by the very upper class until recent years. The Meiji Emperor had a Chin dog named “Rokugo”. This might have inspired the doll makers of Kyot ...click for details
Scruffy looking old Japanese warrior doll (musha ningyo). This doll is not so tall (11 1/2" tall) but heavily padded, solid and quite heavy. When we acquired this doll, his hair was already replaced once and most of it was; one side is painted in black. Old glass eyes. The checker design (ichimatsu design) on his clothes is very similar to "Enshu-donsu", one of the famous fabrics used for tea ceremonies in the Edo period. 11 1/2" high x 11" wide x 12" dee ...click for details
During the Edo period, the daimyo (Feudal lords) from each region was required to live in Edo (today’s Tokyo) every other year. This type of Kamishimo (official attire for samurai) with small repeated patterns (komon) was like their uniform when they attended official function in the Edo castle or others. Each region had their own design made. The characteristic of kamishimo komon was that it looked plain (one color) when it was looked at in the distance. The pattern of the Tokugawa sho ...click for details
This is an old mitsuore ningyo (triple jointed doll) from the Meiji period (1868-1912) or possibly earlier (late Edo period). The body of this doll was made with the Ikkanbari method. In this method, layers of washi (Japanese paper) were glued (lacquered) together over a wooden mold to form the shape of the body parts. It was then coated with layers of gofun, the mixture of ground oyster shells and animal glue. The eyes of the doll are painted from the inside, the arms can be shaped to a c ...click for details
Takeda dolls are modeled after the popular characters from the theater play during the Edo period. They are known for their exaggerated posture and facial expressions of the puppet dolls and kabuki actors on stage. The dolls in this style, with the distinguished Kabuki actor’s makeup called ‘kumadori’ (first created by Danjyuro Ichikawa I, 1660-1704) were made in late Edo to early Meiji period. The dolls might have been sold in large cities such as Osaka and Edo(Tokyo) where the theat ...click for details
Many stories were written about the rising power of the samurai class in late 12th century Japan. Kanjincho, the Kabuki adaptation of the Noh play, Ataka, was first performed at the end of the Edo period in 1840. The costume and hat of this doll tell us that this is Togashi, a chief officer at Ataka inspection barrier in the Kabuki play, “Kanjincho”. The dimensions of the doll are 13 3/4" tall (including hat) and 16" wide (shoulder 10" wide) ...click for details
Old oxcart for Hina Matsuri, the Japanese girl's festival. Decorated in makie on lacquered wood, this style of the carriage was used by the aristocrats during the Heian period (I794-1185). This can be displayed with the "shittei (shitei)", three servants dolls and/or other small dolls. The carriage is tied to the stand in original condition which needs to be untied after the shipment. The strings have been putting pressure on the two front legs of the ox. The legs can be e ...click for details
Japanese samurai dolls are part of the display used for Boy’s Day on every 5th of May in Japan. The dolls are figures of historical heroes or legendary people to inspire the boys of the family (probably husbands are also included today) with their manliness and hopefully discipline and bravery to go along with them. Samurai’s Yoroi armor, Kabuto helmet with swords, bow with arrows are popular items chosen today for the day. ...click for details
This is an impressive set of Emperor and retainer dolls for the Japanese Boy's Day. The decorations for this day include Carps, Yoroi and Kabuto (Samurai's Armor and helmet), swords, arrows and some famous hero and legendary figures from the past. The Emperor doll is 17 inches tall and 15 inches wide (sleeves stretched as shown), the retainer is 11 inches tall. Circa Taisho to early Showa.
Japanese Hakata ningyo, unglazed clay doll of a young samurai (wakashu) with a dancing fan. This doll may have been modeled after a character in Kabuki (played by all males) or Takarazuka (played by all females). There were many play houses in Hakata during the late Meiji, Taisho and early Showa period. The Takarazuka theater (Fukuoka Takarazuka?) was also there. Live theater play was quite popular before play houses and theaters went through destruction in the form of fires, bombing or simply b ...click for details
This doll is a Hakata clay doll, “Matsukaze” design by the well known Japanese artist, Yoshio Matsuoka.
Matsukaze is a story of two beautiful sisters who met and fell in love with a young courtier in exile at the seashore of Suma Bay. The sisters were “shio kumi”, the saltwater bearers who made their living by ladling seawater (before it was boiled down to salt). Matsukaze is the name of the older sister and l ...click for details