"Hina Doll Set"
7" x 7" x 8"
Includes platform and lanterns
Provenance: Purchased from the artist; Private Collection, Cambridge
Shigeru Muraoka is the Younger Brother of Kimiko Koyanagi
About Japanese Dolls
"One major aspect of Japanese culture is the depth of love for dolls (Ningyō; 人形). Doll culture spread in Japan particularly in the 17th century, and dolls could be found in many facets of daily life, both life in the Japanese imperial court and that of the common people. Furthermore, those dolls were advanced achievements even from the standpoint of modern arts and craftsmanship. The fact that many examples indeed enter the realm of high art is an extremely rare occurrence when compared to the culture of dolls seen elsewhere in the world. Thus it can be said that Japan is truly “a Nation of NINGYŌ”, deeply colored by the superb dolls created here and the long cultural history of valuing them."
"Members of the upper class and the Japanese imperial court in particular had a love for dolls of especially refined craftsmanship. One leading example of these is Gosho Ningyō. Fashioned after plump baby boys, they were used as gifts during celebrations at the imperial court. They are designed to show exemplary health and instilled with auspiciousness in their clothing and implements. The general shapes are made from wood or sawdust and then finished with the thick application of a white paint made from crushed shells, giving them their notable luxurious white shine."
"Ishō Ningyō (Nos.25-27) are art dolls dressed in garments actually made of woven fabrics. The dolls, made as display items for grownups from around the 18th century, are notable for the tiny clothing made in the same way as the real items, and the poses which demonstrate the excellence of that clothing. They are also very popular overseas for accessibly expressing traditional Japanese dress, hair styles, and theatrical act."
Sourced and Read more Here:
Hina dolls are the dolls for Hinamatsuri, the doll festival on March 3. They can be made of many materials, but the classic hina doll has a pyramidal body of elaborate, many-layered textiles stuffed with straw and/or wood blocks, carved wood hands (and in some cases feet) covered with gofun, and a head of carved wood or composite molded wood covered with gofun, with set-in glass eyes (though before about 1850, the eyes were carved into the gofun and painted), and human or silk hair. A full set comprises at least 15 dolls, representing specific characters, with many accessories (dogū), though the basic set is a male-female pair, often referred to as the Emperor and Empress.