Five Japanese Musician Dolls
Though their instruments are missing, theses five dolls are intended to represent musicians. Three are kneeling; two are sitting by means of attached wooden pegs. They have wooden heads, hands, and feet with gofun finish. Their eyes are most likely glass. Each is dressed in an elaborate brocade, multilayer robe. Two of the dolls have discoloration on the top of their heads, showing wear appropriate to age and normal use. Dolls are approximately 50-70 years old. Handle carefully as heads will detach from bodies. Clockwise from front, dolls measure 5.75W x 2.75D x 4.375T, 5.5W x 3D x 4.5T, 5W x 3.5D x 5.75T, 5.875W x 3.75D x 5.75T, and 5W x 3D x 4.25T. From Japan. Historical Background Hina Matsuri, or doll festival, is more commonly known as Girl's Day and is celebrated every March 3. Girls throughout Japan display their doll collections for a few days to celebrate this festival. The Boy's Festival (Tango no Sekku) is celebrated on May 5. Families pray for the health and future success of their sons by hanging up carp streamers and displaying samurai dolls, both symbolizing strength, power, and success in life.Gofun is powder mixed with ground oyster shell. The gofun is then mixed with glue and applied to the wooden faces, hands, and feet to achieve the desired look.