JAPANESE DOLLS: Boy's Day Festival in Japan
Author: Helen Vanderberg
Who wouldn't be fascinated by the concept of having a whole festival dedicated to dolls?
Dolls are shown in Girl's Day and Boy's Day festivals in Japan, and cherished over the
generations. Boy's Day dolls can consist of anything from a healthy-looking Sumi wrestler
to a samurai warrior or his armor.
The dolls are usually set up in a hierarchal arrangement in the family home, meant to show,
perhaps, the emperor and empress, courtiers, handmaidens, and warriors in a social
hierarchy in a way a child can understand.
The same approach may ring true with the carp-shaped banners ranged according to size
either on a pole outside the house. The big fish is daddy, next size down is mother, the
next smallest is elder son or daughter. In the countryside, on a rope across a river, the fish
banners represent the villagers. Everything has a hidden meaning.
Beside the obvious link with Japanese doll festivals, collecting dolls has a much deeper
psychological basis. It is believed that ancient Japanese samurai warriors tied cloth mascot
dolls underneath their clothing before going into a particularly ferocious fight.
Whether this is true or not, try this experiment. Walk through the Cairo Museum in Egypt,
turn right, and just beyond where the yellow flowers were found, still colorful after 2500
years in a pyramid tomb, you'll come on the figure of a scribe. He's almost life-size, seated
cross-legged, and as you swing around the corner his quartz eyes stare out at you across
the centuries, and your heart turns over with a jolt of recognition.
Further north in Istanbul, touring the museum on Topkapi grounds above the Bosphorus,
you come across the statue of Sappho and the same sense of recognition hits you. This
woman lived. And loved, and wrote amazing poetry. A human response across the centuries
since Ancient Greece.
Dolls give you this leap of recognition, albeit on a much smaller scale, and you don't have to
be a rabid doll collector to account for it. Perhaps it is the human miniature that grabs our
imagination. To find out more about a broad range of Japanese dolls, go to :
To explore these connections further brings us up against questions of identity.
Is it the samurai spirit residing in the young boy's heart that needs nourishing?
To make a connection with a samurai doll go to www.boonsby.com.
About the author
Helen Vanderberg is a novelist, technical writer, copywriter, and an art appreciator enchanted with things strange or foreign.
This article may be reproduced, provided the author's name and boonsby.com are included in the reproduction.
Powered by CommonSense CMS script - http://www.sensesites.com/