Japanese Antiques by Ichiban Oriental and Asian Art

A Japanese Emperor Doll -Girls Day Festival â19th/20th

A Japanese Emperor Doll -Girls Day Festival –19th/20th

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Directory: Vintage Arts: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Dolls: Pre 1930: Item # 1094537

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A fine Girls Day doll of the Japanese Emperor (Odairi-sama), Late Meiji to Taisho period, c. 1890s-1920s. It is a wonderful representation of the Emperor – he is dressed in fine silk, hand-embroidered brocade costume, and a beautifully crafted face with a delightful, animated expression. Traditionally made for display on Girls Day, celebrated annually in Japan. Among the features commonly found aregofun faces and hands, hat and crown, sword, fan, tatami mats and black lacquer bases. The set of dolls associated with Girls Day is called Hina-Matsuri.

It's common for families of girls in Japan to have a set of hina dolls wearing ancient kimono which is displayed at homes beginning sometime after Risshun (the first day of spring according to the lunar calendar) through March 3rd. The Empress doll (ohina-sama) and the Emperor doll (odairi-sama) are set on the top shelf.

This Emperor Doll sits on a Wooden Stand in the shape of a tatami mat with woven rattan surface and a silk ribbon in the sides. (One piece of red ribbon is missing). The mat measures 14” wide by 9 ½” deep by 1” high. The Emperor Doll measures 13” wide by 8” deep by 9 1 /2” high without his hat. The hat is 1 ½” tall.

The doll is in very good condition overall – some of the painted sections of his hair have been rubbed off – but the top knot of genuine hair is intact. His right hand has damage to three of the fingers. And the garment is slightly faded from exposure to light. We date it to the period 1890s-1920s. The signature of the doll maker is on the long peg that holds the head into the body of the doll – it translates as "Goto".