- - ABC-INDEX - -


Musha ningyoo INFO



Musha ningyoo 武者人形 Samurai Dolls
kigo for early summer

They are decorated for the Boy's Festival on May 5.
warrior dolls

source : kayoyoga-hari-om

more kigo:

kabuto ningyoo かぶと人形(かぶとにんぎょう)
"helmet decorations"
gogatsu ningyoo 五月人形(ごがつにんぎょう)
dolls of the fifth lunar month
ayame ningyoo あやめ人形(あやめにんぎょう)"iris dolls"
..... shoobu ningyoo 菖蒲人形 (しょうぶにんぎょう)

bugu kazaru 武具飾る(ぶぐかざる)decorating samurai armour

. Boys' Festival (tango no sekku) .

Families with little boys observe this festival.
The dolls show historical figures in famous scenes or just a set of armour.
Reading the old warrior tales (gunki monogatari 軍記物語) was another pastime on this day.

Also decorated for the Boy's Festival are the
. Carp Streamers (koinobori 鯉幟) .


Text by Alan Pate, L'Asie Exotique

The term Musha Ningyô generally translated as "warrior dolls," refers to the elaborately costumed figures displayed on May 5th for the Boy's Day festival; they feature great figures and heroic episodes from Japan's martial past. Stories about these figures told by older people to young males instilled ethics and values, and passed on heritage and pride in the past.

For Westerners who know Boy's Day only through hand-tinted images or through the dolls found periodically in antique stores, the doll is pretty much the whole story; beautiful, an exquisite accent piece for our home. We respond to the beauty of the figures and admire the rich silk brocades. We marvel at the skilled craftsmen who created images so infused with life. We delight in the whiteness of the gofun (burnished oyster shell and rice paste) which give their faces that particular porcelaneous look.

But we are left untouched by the awe or pathos they were intended to evoke, emotions directly tied to the life and times for which these dolls serve only as a symbol. For the Japanese child, however, the doll was just the entry-point, the beginning of the journey to a time and a place where heroes lived and legends were made.

To us it is remote or unreal. Medieval Japan, the invasions of Korea, the conflicts between the Minamoto and the Taira clans are the stuff of foreign romance and legend, a TV mini-series.

But in Japan it is one of the well-springs from which the national character is drawn. The dolls provide an image on which to anchor what is heard and read. They symbolize and testify to the conflicts in Japanese history which helped create a culture unique in this world.

Boy's Day traces its roots deep into Japanese history, combining esteem for martial success and bravery with an underlying supernatural context which typified the five principal feast days called gosekku. A closer look at the history of Boy's Day and the development of its symbology helps to pierce the veil that hides the deeper layers of meaning behind the stoic features and beautiful costumes of the musha-ningô.

The history of the festival spans some 1400 years, with earlier antecedents in China, but the pattern of development lends itself to three divisions:

(1) Early period, covering the origins of the festival and its symbols from the 5th century to the beginning of the 17th century, a time when the festival was more ambiguous in form, not tied so closely with children, but was more a day set aside for revelling in martial prowess and purging evil from oneself and the world.

(2) The Edo period (1603-1868) witnessed in its early years an increasing focus on children and a gradual abstraction of the martial and spiritual symbols combined with the rapid development of the dolls and display images which we have come to associate with the festival.

(3) The Meiji period (1868-1912), the enthronement of Mutsuhito and restoration of the emperor as the locus of power resulted in politicization of the musha-ningyô characters from history were stressed who were loyal to the emperor or added glory to the office.

Boys' Day display elements (kazari)
reflect the dual emphasis on the idealized martial and the talismanic spiritual. Fukinagashi (streamers) were military banners and pennants whose fluttering ends drove away evil. Kabuto, the distinctive battle helmet was believed to protect a house against evil and often made of spiritwarding iris leaves to further its talismanic effect. Musha-ningyô were heirs to the talismanic tradition: dolls were seen as substitutes (katashiro), diverting evil away from the child and revered for their protective powers.

Empress Jingu and Takenouchi no Sukune
Another principal musha-ningyô is a character from Japan's remote history: Empress Jingu (170-269). The only female figure regularly associated with Boy's Day, she is paired with her faithful minister/ general Takenouchi no Sukune. The Nohongi (compiled in 720) states that her husband, Chuai Ten'no the 14th emperor of Japan, died just prior to invading Korea. Debate over the invasion had been strong and Jingu had been an ardent supporter.

source : www.lasieexotique.com


Clay Bells 土鈴


. . . CLICK here for musha ningyoo Photos !

. Reference .

Click on the images for more photos.

kabuto ningyoo かぶと人形 "helmet decorations"

gogatsu ningyoo 五月人形 May Dolls

ayame ningyoo あやめ人形 iris dolls
Here we have Kintaro, the Strong Boy, ridind on a carp,

. Kintaro 金太郎 the Strong Boy Kintoki .

source : rakuten.co.jp/corazon

Kintaro and Kabuto Kun かぶと君 "The Helmet Boy"
Usaburo Kokeshi 卯三郎こけし


. shoobu taichi 菖蒲太刀 iris sword .
from Konosu town, Saitama

. yoroi 鎧 armour, armor of a samurai .
gusoku 具足 armour
..... kogusoku 小具足 smapp pieces of armour equipment (like facemask, forearm sleeves, thigh guards, shin guards, bear-fur boots
and haiku by Yosa Buson 与謝蕪村 


- - - regional musha ningyoo 武者人形 samurai dolls

Kagawa, Takamatsu 香川県 高松市

source : www008.upp.so-net.ne.jp

also called yoroi ningyoo 鎧人形 or deko でこ head dolls.
The head of clay is stuck on a long bamboo pole, which is stuck through the armour.
The head may feature a famous samurai, like Kato Kiyomasa or Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
Both armes are supported by a bamboo stick and can be moved around freely.
These dolls have been made offerings to the local shrines to pray for the healthy upbringing of a baby boy.
Nowadays they are a favorite souvenir.

Ehime, Matsuyama 愛媛県 松山市

source : ocn.ne.jp/~shikisai


source :rakuten.co.jp/smilemarket

Musha Daruma 武者だるま


. Boys' Festival (tango no sekku 端午の節句) .

. Regional Folk Toys from Japan .

. Tohoku after the BIG earthquake March 11, 2011




Gabi Greve - WKD said...

Takahashi Awajijo 高橋淡路女
(1890 - 1955)

musha ningyoo kabuto no himo no hana musubi

warrior dolls -
the string of the helmet
with a rosette knot

Gabi Greve - Basho archives said...

Matsuo Basho

むざんやな 甲の下の きりぎりす
muzan ya na kabuto no shita no kirigirisu

about helmets of samurai !

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

kabuto 兜 / 冑 / かぶと helmet
and Fudo Myo-O 不動明王

Gabi Greve said...

Takenouchi no Sukune 武内宿禰 Takeshiuchi no Sukune
竹内宿禰 Takenouchi Skune, Takeuchi Sukune - 建内宿禰 Takeshi-Uchi
(? - ?) he lived for 317 years
Maybe born during the reign of Emperor Keikō 景行天皇 Keiko Tenno (13 BC - 130 BC) .


Gabi Greve said...

Nihon no sennin 日本の仙人 Japanese Immortals and Hermits

He is listed as Nr. 03.

Gabi Greve said...

Horo. A kind of Protector for Japanese samurai.
Samurai wore a cloak that inflated, which protected him from incoming arrows.