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6/26/2011

Akakeshi Dolls Miyagi

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. Miyagi Folk Art - 宮城県 民芸  .
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Akakeshi 赤芥子 Red Poppies Dolls

These little clay dolls help children to stay healthy.
Red is the color to ward off diseases, especially smallpox.

They are a type of Tsutsumi Ningyo dolls 堤人形,
similar to the Matsukawa Daruma dolls.

They come as a pair, little boy and girl, sitting down, with soft curves of their little bodies.



source : popyah


In some regions of Miyagi, they are also venerated at the toilet as
benjo no kamisama 便所の守り神, deity of the toilet.

In some regions they are believed to bring a marriage partner and help having children.
縁談や子授け祈願

To pray for the good health of children, people offered a pair to the local shrine or temple, when a baby was born.
子供の無病息災

They are a typical example of "dolls for faith"
shinkoo ningyoo 信仰人形


On the other hand, they have been used to "take along a friend"
tomobiki ningyoo 友引人形
and put in a coffin in case a child had died.
In this case, their reputation is not very good.
But many say, this is just the opposite, that you should NOT take along friends on the trip to the other world.

. Tomobiki Ningyo 友引人形
doll to put in a coffin



Akakeshi dolls are a kind of kokeshi and known in many parts of Tohoku.
They can be made of wood too.


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source : bingom.exblog.jp

A pair of Toilet God Dolls トイレの神様

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red poppy dolls
sit alone by the beach -
dead children of Tohoku



. Japan after the BIG earthquake March 11, 2011


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Tsutsumi ningyoo 堤人形 Tsutsumi dolls

This naming has been introduced in the Showa period. Before that they were called
ohinakko, o-hinakko おひなっこ (little Hina dolls).

Most of the themes are about the seasonal festivals for Girls in March and Boys in May.

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A thirteenth generation craftsman produces beautiful dolls through build-to-order manufacturing.

Tsutsumi dolls are made out of clay and developed in Sendai. It attracts viewers with its beautiful figures like the Hina doll (female doll for girls’ festival), with the elegant smile, or a Kabuki actor striking a pose. The doll originated in Tsutsumicho, Sendai, a well-known pottery town. During the wintertime, soil became frozen and ceramists could not make pottery, so they started to color unglazed Tsutsumi dolls.

In the Edo period, Sendai clan’s 4th feudal lord, Tsunamura Date (1659 - 1719), invited ceramist Mannemon Kamimura from Edo (present day Tokyo) for a visit. Manemon suggested improvements and refined the crafting of the Tsutsumi doll. From 1804 to 1830, the popularity of the Tsutsumi doll prospered, and it was considered one of the two major clay dolls, along with the Fushimi doll from Kyoto, among others such as the Hanamaki doll in Iwate and Miharu doll in Fukushima.



One of the big characteristics of the Tsutsumi doll is the use of the color red. Craftsmen in the Edo period finished dyeing a doll using imported sappan wood, which had been difficult to obtain in Japan under the closed‐door policy. Craftsmen do not use sappan wood nowadays, and instead use dyes, which last longer and creates the impressive bright red on Tsutsumi dolls.

The Ukiyo-e (Japanese woodblock prints and paintings produced between the 17th and the 20th centuries) like dolls made Tsutsumi dolls famous and flourish during the Edo period. Craftsmen used their skill to make dolls with expressions on the modeled faces of Kabuki actors, Sumo wrestlers and Oiran courtesans on Ukiyo-e print, that appeared very life-like.

Besides these kinds of motifs, there were other various styles of Tsustumi dolls created such as the Inari (god of harvests, later worshipped as the guardian deity of an area), or a pair of stone guardian dogs (placed at the gate or in front of a Shinto shrine), or a Hina doll representing the folk belief. In addition, the unglazed and unpainted with dye doll seemed to be loved as a toy and a teething ring for babies. Tsutsumi dolls were not as expensive like other Japanese dolls, so even common people could get them anytime.

With the change of the lifestyle, the Tsutsumi doll has gradually disappeared from current living scenes. However, the Tsutsumi doll still manages to attract new fans with its sweetness.

The craftsman at “Haga Tsutsumi Doll Workshop” is the thirteenth generation since Bunka period (1804~1818), to continue to make the doll and he still produces it by special build-to-order manufacturing without wholesale to the department stores, and there seems to be no end to the inquiries from collectors. There will always be people that love the Tsutsumi dolls.

3-30-10 Tsutsumimachi, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi / Haga Tsutsumi Doll Workshop
- source : tetotetote-sendai.jp -

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source : folkcraft.samurai47.com

Tanikaze Kajinosuke 谷風梶之助 from Mutsu 陸奥
A famous Sumo wrestler name.
The second Tanikaze lived from 1750 - 1795. He had won 22 competitions in Edo.


. Sumo 相撲  Sumo wrestling toys .


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Another famous theme is the

taki nobori, takinobori 滝のぼり climbing up a waterfall
Tsutsumi Mud doll - Koinobori Carp s climb in waterfall




. koi 鯉 carp dolls and amulets .






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. Poppies and Haiku .

. Matsukawa Dolls from Sendai - 仙台の松川だるま


. The Toilet and its Deity
kawaya no kami 厠の神
benjogami 便所神


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