Antique Japanese warrior dolls, musha ningyo displayed for the Japanese Boys Day. Clad in armor is a beautiful young widow, the Empress Jingo with her faithful retainer/high ranking minister, Takenouchi no Sukune. He is holding her baby Ojin (Oh-jin) who was later known as “The God of War”, the 15th Japanese emperor, Emperor Ojin. These are all original dolls including the baby.
Some old records indicate that in 300 AD, God came down to talk to Empress Jingo in her sleep. This was when her husband, Emperor Chuai, was about to conquer the land of Kumaso (the southern Kyushu Island). In her dream, a god supposedly pointed at the sea towards the direction of Korea. However, Emperor Chuai ignored her dream and the warning and went ahead with his original plan. As a result, a god punished him; he became gravely ill and died. After his death, Empress Jingo, to spare her and her family from an angry curse placed upon them, gathered up the troops and embarked on a conquest to Korea. Upon her triumphant return, she gave birth to Ojin in her country and raised him to be a strong warrior.
Empress Jingo established herself as a “mother or women’s mirror” in Japanese terms, a character that parents wish to be reflected upon their daughters. This trio of dolls used to be the popular display until Meiji (1868-1912) to Taisho era for the values have changed in Japan over the years but yet she will continue to be remembered as a legendary hero figure through dolls.
There are a hole and other damages in the back of his hat. The box is an original box but missing a bar across which will cause the lid to cave in. It can be used to keep the dolls only in a certain way. Beautiful patina on surface Gofun, wood body, circa late Edo/early Meiji.
The dimensions of this set are: She is 14 1/2 inches tall, and he is 10 3/4 inches tall to the tip of the hat. The box: 16 1/4 W x 18 H x 14 1/4 D
NOTE: The sword shown in last two photos is not included. We did not have anything better at this moment to show how easily you can move and change the position of their arms (wired inside - caution - not all dolls are) and also make him look a real Samurai doll. The swords with or without fur were all too big or small for her. The one we used is a part of set with a short Wakizashi on rack.