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Antique Japanese Doll, Maiden of Genroku

Antique Japanese Doll, Maiden of Genroku

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Dolls: Pre 1920: Item # 537973
Asian Art By Kyoko
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Los Angeles
California, USA

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This is a large doll, probably dated from Meiji to Taisho period, modeling a maiden from the Genroku era (1688-1703). Genroku culture which was the beginning of uprising power of the merchants in the Osaka area was glamorous and quite a contrast to the stiff culture of the samurai. Partially green lipstick that is shown on this doll became fashionable at the time. Her hair style is called Taka (high) Shimada or Bunkin Taka-Shimada.

The doll looks older than shown in some of the photos; her eyes are made of old glass. The body is made out of wood and is without feet. There is a wire inside her jacket which enables movement by lifting up the jacket as we have seen in many Takeda dolls. Her arms are also wired. We change the position of the arms as a drummer. The stand is made out of a solid wood and is fairly new. The doll is well placed now after having inserted a long screw from the bottom of the stand. There are damages on the pink silk liners on the bottom and back of the sleeves (more than shown in the photos). The fabric became brittle but there is pink washi paper liner underneath. If you choose to remove the damaged fabric, it should look perfectly normal.

I have a lot to explain about this listing. We added photos of similar dolls from a Japanese website (photo #6) – we will put up a link to the site if we can manage to find the same site. The dolls in the photos are older than our doll and some are very rare dolls. The dolls similar to ours appear to be a set of musicians, dancers or Shiokumi doll (bride maiden), some of them with or without hair and standing on Takeda stands. The photos #11 and #12 are our variations of the dolls. Fancy drum and a flower cart (with new flowers) are additional. The style of drum is very ancient. They came from China and have been used for the ceremonies in shrines and “gagaku”, the court music for well over 1300 years. Our drum is about 60 years old (?), 11 ½” high x 6 1/8” wide, painted on paper on a kiri (boxwood) stand. The idea of a maiden pulling a flower cart came after seeing a doll made by one of the Heizo Ooki of the Maruhei store in Kyoto. According to the current Mr. Heizo Ooki (7th generation), their doll was made from an image of a girl/woman who had been crossing the town of Kyoto every morning to bring fresh flowers to the palace – if my memory is correct. The original (?) old umbrella was not made to be closed (photos are available).

15" tall (to the top of her hair) on 8 1/4"x 8 1/4" x 5/8" stand (new, lacquer), 16 3/4" tall including the umbrella.