7 Mystical Stories Behind Japanese Doll Collecting

Japanese dolls are an ancient craft representing thousands of years of civilization. There were different kinds of dolls representing children, babies, some the imperial court, warriors, heroes, fairy-tale characters, gods and (rarely) demons, and also people of the daily life.

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doll made from folded paper

Some would traced its roots between 8000-200 BC period. There were between 10 to 15 types of traditional dolls depending on the authority. We have featured some kokeshi doll collectors in the country and the stories on how did they started collecting their Japanese dolls.

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Some are kept in Kyoto National Museum ,Peabody Essex Museum, Yodokō Guest House, Museo Pambata and Japanese Doll Museum by karljapz in Lipa, Batangas.

Japanese doll collections can be categorized by the material they are made of such as wood dolls kokeshi, kamo-ningyo and nara-ningyo, clay forms such as fushimi-ningyo, porcelain and among others.

7 Mystical Stories Behind Japanese Dolls Collecting

The rise of people collecting Japanese dolls started in the mid-19th century when Japanese started opening for trade in other countries. There are some Japanese doll aficionados who collect the doll for their artistic craftsmanship. Dolls were then send or bought by rich families and royalties who treasured and cherish the dolls from Japan.

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different kinds of doll including daruma made from folded paper, cloth and plastic

More dolls were brought home after the second world war by American service personnel and travelers from many parts of the world. In the country, the rise of Japanese doll collector were mainly attributed first to hundred of thousands of OFW in Japan  from late 1970’s to early part of this millennium.

Second is the rise of thrift stores in the country which propelled collectors to easily buy pre-loved dolls at a fraction of the cost in the native country.

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7.) Ichimachu dolls are posses by the people who formerly owned these dolls. Some people believe that during the Edo period, spirits of dead person who owned the doll may posses the doll.

6.) Some people believe that collecting the doll will bring prosperity and good luck.

5.) Daruma dolls bring good luck and are sold without eyes. The doll can be made from paper machie, wood, metal or even plastic and represents 6th monk as Bodhidharma who can from India or China to spread the Buddhism. It is customary to paint the eye with marker once you set a goal and fill the second one once who have fulfilled.

Daruma dolls are burned in a special ceremony in Shinto shrines or festival.

4.) Hina- Ningyo are traditional type of dolls displayed in family homes leading up to the Girls’ Day. They are sold in sets and represent an imperial court. Some people believe that collecting and completing the set will help them bring prosperity.

3.) Collecting kokeshi doll can be lucky or may also brings “bad luck”to individuals collecting the wooden doll. It is also widely believed that Kokeshi doll influence the development of Russian matryoshka dolls or nesting dolls.

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Kokeshi and Ainu wooden dolls on display

“kokeshi” was originally written in hiragana, and not from the Chinese syllable  “kanji”. The meanings of the combination of each phonetic syllable.

“ko” could mean two things; either “small”, or “child”. The word “keshi” could pertain to “poppy” or “doll”.

Another term “keshi”could also have been taken from the word “kesu”, which technically means to erase.

If one would definite the two words “child”, and “erase”, in which had its roots to infanticide, which sadly happen quite a bit among poverty stricken areas of Japan during the Edo period. Sometimes due to high infant mortality during the period, Each Kokeshi doll symbolizes 1 dead child.

It was then customary for parents that when a child passes away, they leave a kokeshi doll on the shrine inside the house to represent and honor the soul of the child who departed. Ms. Angelita Chua ( personal friend) collects some quirky kokeshi dolls made from marble or stone.

2.) Teru-Teru Bozu – These are dolls crafted by children and can influence weather. These are also quite rare to encounter at a local thrift stores since they are made from papers or fragile materials.

1.) Hina No Tsurushi Kazari, small handmade dolls which are passed on from mother to daughter to bring good luck. Since they are fragile very few handmade dolls can be seen for sale at the local thrift stores.

RetroCon at Fisher Mall

Retro Convention (RetroCon) held a 3 day trade fair, exhibit and program from November 15 to 17, 2019 at the Fisher Mall in Quezon City.

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crowd and table bourse

Unlike in the previous RetroCon at the Lucky Chinatown Mall, There were more table bourse sellers and participants at the convention. There were life size superman, Voltes-V ,wonder woman among others.

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retrocon neon signage

RetroCon at Fisher Mall

There were on the spot raffle, contest, live entertainment, retro music, m and lots of items to see at the site.

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greek universe

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Voltes V

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live program

Unlike other pop culture or trade exhibits in other parts of the metropolis, There is no entrance fees at the convention.

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vinyl records and cassette tapes for sale

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Krazy Kyle Gianan- Pinoy Picker’s booth

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Krazy Kyle Gianan

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banknotes

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toys and magazines for sale

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anime dolls and toys

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tin trucks

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Mac Kolektibolz

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coins, banknotes, old photos, cameras, telephones and posters

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old Php 1.00 coin ( Pilipino series 1972 to 1974) for Php 35 each and coins (Php 10.00) each.

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tomica toy cars

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different kinds of toys and dolls for sale

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Jerry’s life size statues on display

It was a wonderful experience roaming around the convention and chatting along with the table bourse sellers and organizers of the event.

Tree Top Adventure from Jollibee

Jollibee launched Jolly Tree Top Adventure kiddie meal toys with 5 character toys on their tree top rides.

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It was available on October 1, 2019 in all Jollibee branches nationwide.

Note: These toys are suitable for children over 3 years-old and must be accompanied by adults when they are playing the toys.

Retrocon 2019 at Lucky Chinatown Mall

Retrocon 2019 is a gathering for all collectors, fans, enthusiasts and admirers of vintage items, collectibles, memorabilia and anything of value which remind them of not so distant past.
Retrocon

Retrocon 2019 poster

There will be a lot of side events like meet and greet, stalls, talks, games at the three-day event which will happen on August 2,3 ,4 at Lucky China Mall in Binondo, Manila.

This will be the 4th time that the Retro Con will be held, the first two edition was held at the iconic Ali Mall in Cubao, while the last one was held in Bonifacio Global City (BGC).

Retro Con 2019 is one of its kind and is aiming to bring in collectors and vintage collectibles in one venue for the appreciation of the public.

Unlike other trade fairs, the convention is FREE and open from 10:00 am till 8:00 pm. Hope to see you all !!!!

Collecticon 2010 update

Last October 3, the author personally went to Robinson’s Place in Manila to visit the Collecticon 2010. Unlike last year were Ondoy’s wrath and the sad stories of collectors who lost their collection from the flood.

There were about 80 commercial stalls and table bourse traders selling   different kinds of collectibles ranging from comics, die-cast toys, action figurine, stamps, bottles, car plate , anime , stuff toys , key chain, accessories among other stuffs.

Traders in anime costume complete with colorful hats

This year’s event was full of life and euphoria as thousands of people from all walks of life ( mostly teenagers, cosplayers  and toys collectors)  went and participated actively in the collecticon 2010.

Coca-cola bottles (unopened / pristine condition ) for collection

Unlike other event , This is open to the public with no entrance fee !

crowd

You can see various collections being exhibited at the lobby and traders selling their goods. Various cos- players also added to the lively atmosphere of the mall. There was a live toy / collectibles auction were  starting bid started at  one  peso and some toys even reached several thousand of pesos !

action figures on sale

Just like any other  trade shows focusing on vintage stuffs , there are some sellers which are selling toys ( ukay-ukay ) .  Some of the toys are previously owned . These toys enjoy high patronage among the crowd with limited budget. Having a limited budget does not deter collectors to acquire toys or any vintage stuffs for their collection.

According to the traders, the organizers of Collecticon 2010 is also the same with the organizers of the much bigger Toy Convention .

Again, until the next event ! Congratulations to the event organizers .

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