Two Japanese Court Lady Dolls
Two court lady dolls feature wooden heads, hands, and feet with gofun finish; their eyes are most likely glass. Both have two black dots painted on their foreheads and wear their hair in osuberakashi fashion. They are both elaborately dressed in brocade costumes. One holds a sword. Dolls are approximately 50-70 years old. Handle carefully as heads will detach from bodies. Doll with sword, 6W x 2.5D x 6.875T. Doll without sword, 5.5W x 2D x 6.875T. 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. Osuberakashi is a traditional Japanese coiffure where the long hair is gathered so that it hangs down at the back of the head.Two black dots painted on the forehead are representations of a form of make-up adopted by members of the court during the Heian period (794-1185).