Antique Japanese dolls


Standing bijin holding a puppet in her right hand.
Just under 14 inches (35.5 cm).
The puppet - wearing a robe with Ginkgo leaf pattern - replaces the baby and a hand-held shishi mask, the toy, gives an impression of mother and child.

private collection

dōji nodder Ginkgo

Standing dôji nodder wearing a robe with Ginkgo leaf pattern.
12.2 inches high (30.5 cm).
Holds a stylized cat under its right arm.

Kyoto National Museum, Japan


carved wood figures, completely covered in gofun.  "Clothing" is sculpted of gofun, gold powder with red and green as additional colors.
Among Kyoto dolls, SAGA-NINGYÔ are the oldest and the most distinctive. Because these dolls portray Taoist themes with a noble and spiritual appearance, they are thought to have originated among sculptors of Buddhist statues in the early Edo period. They are believed to have been carved by sculptors in the Saga area near Kyoto, Japan.

Photos and more info : 'Antique Japanese dolls' by Alan Pate.