||Momotaro, the Peach Boy
This is one of the first
Japanese dolls I bought, and still a favorite.
Momotaro is the hero of
a folktale about a boy born from a peach, who becomes a hero by enlisting
a dog, a falcon, and a... to slay an oni (demon or ogre). Here he
offers the peach as a treat to convince the dog to help him. Japanese friends
told me his banner says "Number One in Japan."
|Shoki, Patron Saint of Grad
This is Shoki, the Demon
Queller. He is actually a figure in Chinese folklore, and there are several
version of his story. In all of them, he served the emperor in some way
but despaired and committed suicide--either he was a general who lost a
battle, or a scholar who failed his examinations. But when the emperor
was tormented by evil dreams, Shoki appeared to him and chased them away.
He is dressed in a Chinese costume, with a helmet with lightning-bolts
or horns, and he should have a straight sword to frighten away the demons.
A noble lord
and his retainer memorialize the military values of Japan. They re
equipped with bow and arrows, sword, military standard, and laced armor.
This lord, at 18 inches high, is a wonderful example of the musha-ningyo.
Two ferocious heroes!
The gentleman in blue "gloves" and full armor (actually bits of armor)
is probably an imperial retainer. The little gosho doll may be Kintaro,
the boy hero.
The emperor's white horse is an
important figure in a Boys' Day display.
A young boy dressed up as a warrior.
This is an old example of what is now a very popular type of doll.