A unique exhibition of Japanese dolls :

Posted by-Kalki Team

A unique exhibition in town showcases a range of Japanese dolls, that reflect the customs of the country that have developed in many diversified forms over the centuries.

The Japanese have traditionally nurtured the doll culture. The love for dolls has been passed down through generations and remains prevalent throughout the country till date. They make their appearance in most cultural events in Japan. Japanese ancient traditions like Hina Matsuri (Girls Festival) and Gogat su Ningyo (Boys Day dolls) have fostered this doll culture. This traditional appreciation for dolls has resulted in the belief that dolls are not only children’s toys but also works of art to be displayed and admired.

On Monday, a Japanese Dolls Exhibition was inaugurated by Seiji Baba, Consul-General of Japan in Chennai at Lalit Kala Akademi on Greams Road, ranging from traditional to modern dolls all under one roof. It is being held by Japan Foundation and ABK-AOTS Dosokai (Tamil Nadu centre). “The dolls of Japan displayed in this exhibition showcases the exquisite traditional craftsmanship and unique cultural heritage of Japan. You will surely enjoy the beauty of these dolls and take a piece of this beauty in your heart,” said Seiji Baba, Consul-General of Japan in Chennai at the inauguration.

Although Japan has embraced modernity across all walks of life, they strongly hold on to their traditional cultural aspects. The dolls for boys comprise elaborate miniature armour and costumes, usually with a sword or katana in tow. The Boys Festival is for families to pray that their sons grow up strong and healthy. For girls, the festival is called Hina Matsuri, where the tradition includes family sets of dolls and families pray to a Hina couple doll for the happiness of their young daughters.

“Dolls in Japan have different significance during different cultural events. Some are related with old customs and are passed down through generations like Hina dolls while some are used for traditional puppet play. Others are used to simply decorate houses. Many regions in Japan have a thriving doll-making culture. Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan, makes traditional dolls. Hakata, situated in the southern part of Japan, is also famous for their great craftsmanship in creating dolls. Local factories in northeastern region of Japan are famous for making Koke shi dolls,” explains Junichi Fukao, Researcher/Advisor — Culture and Information Affairs, Consulate-General of Japan in Chennai.

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