Exploring Traditional Japanese Culture

Japanese dolls were not meant for children to play with. In ancient times during the Meiji Period, they were used as offerings to ward off bad luck and illness, but it was not until the Edo Period that they came to be made for the appreciation of annual events such as the Doll Festival and Tango-no-Sekku.
It was only after the Edo period that they were made for the appreciation of events such as Hinamatsuri and Tango no Sekku. Foreigners may think that geisha dolls and women’s dolls dressed in kimonos are typical Japanese dolls. They are expensive because each one is handmade and the kimonos are made of silk. Their faces must be painted by a master craftsman. The Ikiningyou, also known as “”living dolls,”” are as realistic as miniature sculptures. For each puppet style, we can learn about the origins and historical development of the style, but more importantly, we can learn the context of how the puppets fit into the wider culture and what their purpose is.
The costumes, the poses, and the people who modeled the dolls have much more meaning.