A guide to Ningyo

We were delighted on Monday night with a talk by 12 year old Lilia who explained the meanings of Ichimatsu Ningyo, Hina Ningyo, Daruma Ningyo, Kokeshi Ningyo and Gosho Ningyo; various forms of Japanese Doll.

Lilia with some of her collection and President Liz Stewart-Smith.

We were delighted on Monday evening (10th October 2022) with a talk by 12 year old Lilia who explained the meanings of Ichimatsu Ningyo, Hina Ningyo, Daruma Ningyo, Kokeshi Ningyo and Gosho Ningyo; various forms of Japanese Doll.

“Ningyo” is the Japanese word meaning doll or “human form”. This category includes Ichimatsu Ningyo, Hina Ningyo, Daruma Ningyo, Kokeshi Ningyo and Gosho Ningyo.

Hina Ningyo is believed to add protection for young girls in their journey through girlhood.

Ichimatsu dolls would be given to young girls in hopes that they would become as beautiful in later as the roles played by Kabuki actor Sanogawa Ichimatsu (1722-1762).

Kokeshi are miniature wooden dolls, crafted for over 150 years in Japan as a popular children's toy.

Daruma dolls (right) are usually made of papier-mache, are hollow and most notably will instantaneously bounce back up if knocked over. This, in Japanese folklore is supposed to be a metaphor for overcoming adversity and recovering from misfortune.

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Lilia with some of her collection and President Liz Stewart-Smith.

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