The Japan Cultural Institute hosts a travelling exhibition dedicated to the culture of the doll in the fascinating oriental country, set up following the success of 'The Dolls of Japan: Forms of Prayer, expressions of Love' of 2016.
The exhibition path, whose title means "human form" in Japanese, presents the doll's art, beauty and tradition during Japan's long history through sixty-five selected specimens, divided into four sections: propitiatory Ningyō, art Ningyō, folk Ningyō and diffusion of Ningyō culture.
The variety, accuracy of craftsmanship and love for the genre characterize the exhibition, which ranges from Katashiro and Amagatsu, the archetypes of Japanese dolls, to local variations, a mirror of the country's climate and folklore, up to the model dolls, highly appreciated toys in today's Japan, and the famous scale figyuaa.
Propitiatory Ningyō - Already in the 7th century, protection from bad luck in the following year was entrusted to simple figures made of wooden planks, then given to the waters of the rivers. In this section, you can admire: the Katashiro, paper dolls still used today in the purification rites of Shinto shrines; the Amagatsu and Hōkō, to protect children from accidents and misfortunes; doll sets from the Hina Matsuri to celebrate the growth of girls on March 3; models of armour and figures of heroes, including Momotarō and Kintarō, displayed at Tango no Sekku, a celebration for the healthy growth of male children on May 5.
Art Ningyō - With the evolution of production techniques, around the 17th century, dolls began to be appreciated as art objects. On display are examples of high artistic craftsmanship, selected for variety of procedures and attention to detail, such as the refined Gosho Ningyō, effigy of a chubby child, often given to guests of court celebrations, the extravagant Saga Ningyō, carved in wood, richly decorated in gold and painted with relief motifs, the Nara Ningyō in delicate colours, born from little dolls offered to the deities during the festivals in the Kasugataisha shrine, the Ishō Ningyō, art dolls with traditional hairstyles and fabric clothes, in theatrical poses.
Folklore Ningyō - Displayed some colourful and fun Japanese folkloristic dolls, mainly made with cheap materials such as clay, paper and wood, originating from countless local variations. Among these, the simple Imado Ningyō in clay, the Hakata Ningyō, created with an ad hoc sculpture technique, the Miharu Ningyō, which depicts traditional Kabuki actors and legendary heroes, and the Takasaki Daruma, representing the high priest of Buddhism, both made with layers of painted paper, and the wooden Kokeshi for children.
Diffusion of Ningyō culture - The section tells about techniques and talents that have been perfected over time, taking inspiration from traditional performing arts and everyday life, and materials that have been changing together with the modernization of Japan. They range from the Jōruri Ningyō, large dolls used for the traditional Jōruri puppet theatre, to the Oshie Hagoita, wooden paddles with bas-relief silk dolls; from the Ichimatsu Ningyō, which represent Japanese children in traditional clothes, to the contemporary Japan dolls, including the iconic Licca-chan, produced in 1967, and the collectable 3D figyuaa featuring manga and anime characters loved all over the world.
8 maggio - 9 giugno 2023
Venerdì 5 maggio 2023 Inaugurazione 18.00-20.00 (visita guidata, workshop di origami)
Ingresso libero senza prenotazione
Da lunedì 8 maggio
Lunedì - venerdì 9.00-12.30 / 13.30-17.00