The thought of starting this blog came to me as I was packing away my samurai dolls, home from their visit at the library. For months patrons “ooh-ed and ah-ed” over my little warriors, remnants of the rich history and culture of Japan. Now they would be closed tight in a box, out of sight, stored away. If I were to start a blog I could virtually visit my doll collection and share it with my friends.
I never made a conscious decision to become a doll collector. As I child I was the girl least likely to play with a doll. But once I was exposed to the world of Japanese dolls that all changed. I felt instantly drawn to their artistry. I started small and focused on collecting Musha-ningyo, warrior dolls. These dolls, with their detailed armor and weapons, were modeled after the historical and folk heroes of old Japan.
My first dolls were purchased at shrine sales, the Japanese equivalent of our swap meet. The temple grounds were dotted with hundreds of stalls with striking arrays of colorful wares. With so many “must haves” it was hard to focus on which dolls to collect. One friend fell in love with the dramatic Noh dolls and Kabuki masks. Another concentrated on collecting Kokeshki dolls. This worked well as we could spot great finds for each without the need to compete.
I WAS a ‘doll girl’ and also fell in love with the ones in Japan. As you may remember, I have a partial set of ‘Grils Day’ dolls, also purchased at a shrine. I bought a large porcelain kimono doll in Kyoto. She is in a glass case in our Japanese room. She has company. There’s another kimono doll from a temple sale, a very special dancing doll from the island of Shikoku that we got when we visited there during the last Oban in Japan, a lovely little baby doll from Kyoto, and several other smaller porcelain ones. Larry has a terrific archer automaton that our Japanese son gave him. It’s amazing! Hope you can make it to the next book launch so that you can see them for yourself.
Love and blessings to you, my friend,