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Japanese Dolls

To view some of our current offerings, please select one of the following:    

Boys Day         Girls Day      Doll Furniture        Kokeshi   



Japanese dolls come in a very wide variety of shapes, compositions and themes.  The ones we offer from our collection include kime kome, kokeshi, hina and samurai.  Some of these qualify as antique dolls.   We also have doll palaces (called "goten" in Japanese) and doll furniture.

KIME KOME dolls consist of brocaded cloth covering a fixed form of wood or other hard composition. The cloth is glued to the form.   The faces  and hands are of "gofun" (powdered  seashell).  Sizes range from an inch to about 6 inches.  Many depict individual gods while others form the imperial court (a set consisting of emperor, empress, 2 ministers, 3 maids, 3 servants and 5 musicians).  We have several of these sets available for purchase.  

        The following are six photos of kime kome set D10 where emperor is 4.5 inches tall (5.75 inches including stand).   Set has gofun faces, painted eyes and includes hibachi, stands, mochi tables, lanterns, curtain screens, folding screens, round table, chesk, trunk, sign, trees and tables with bowls.   Price $200

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 Following are three photographs of D11 where empress is 7 inches tall (10 inches including stand).    Pair has gofun faces and painted eyes.   Price is $125

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 Following are nine photographs of D17 where empress (from base of stand to top of head not including the fancy bird atop her crown) .   Set has cut in eyes.  Face and hands are gofun.   Furniture is plastic.   Dolls are permanently attached to stands.   Includes back screens (set of two).    Price is $150


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Top left D267 - 8.5 inch doll with very fancy 2 inch stand where doll has cut in eyes and wooden hands with sword and scabbord.  Price $55

     Top right D268 Meiji Era doll 8.5 in tall (10.75 including stand) with wooden hands, painted eyes, gofun face, sword and scabbord.   Price SOLD

Lower letf D253 - set of three kime kome musicians 3 inches tall with cut in eyes.   Price $35

     Lower right D251 - set of five musicians 3 in tall with cut in eyes.   Price $50.

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Top left  D84  - young looking 8.875 in tall Shokie with hat and sword.  Price$65

      Top right  D285 - 11 in tall temple dancer.  Price $125

KOKESHI are made from wood and range in size from about an inch to almost 2 feet.  Many are characters from folklore such as the kappa (a mischievous animal that lives in the bottom of rivers) or from real life (bears or tanuke which is an animal similar to our racoon).  Most, however, consist of a wooden cylinder topped by a round head.  Hand painting of the wood can be very simple to exquisite.  Best places to find these are at the many hot springs where visitors bring them home as a reminder of good times.

Until until the early 1990's, there was a girls day and separate boys day.  Each had special dolls.  Boys had samurai, Momotaro (the peach boy), Jimmotenno (a representation of the first Japanese emperor) and Shokei (a general who was always getting into fights - note that he always has a hat with horns and the horns are bent before the doll is sold).  Girls day had geisha (the salt water carrier, wisteria lady, hat lady, etc) but most were hina.  The hina were usually cloth over a straw filled wire armature with carved wooden hands and sculpted "gofun" (powdered seashell) faces.   A hina doll set ranged from just the imperial pair (emperor and empress) to the full imperial court (15 dolls)   including furniture (sewing boxes, kyodai, chests of drawers, palaquins, ox carts, lanterns, tables, bowls, etc).  Most unusual were the goten (doll houses) in front of which the imperial court dolls were arranged.  These ranged from a simple screen and steps to a palace with side stages and several roofs. 

If you would like to select your own dolls, please consider joining our JAPAN TOUR.


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