Japanese Dolls: From Showa to Heisei and Reiwa eras

Jun 17, 2021 - Jul 28, 2021

Bunka Doll

Toy

About the work

Brief background of Showa period in Japan

The Japanese economic miracle is known as Japan's record period of economic growth after World War II. During the economic boom, Japan rapidly became the world's second-largest economy (after the United States). Literally, by late 1960, Japan had risen from the ashes of the war to achieve an astoundingly rapid and complete economic recovery. It developed significant improvement in living standards and a significant increase in consumption. The proportions of consumption were also changing. The consumption in recreational, entertainment activities and goods increased, including furniture and transportation. The significant increase in consumption stimulated the growth in GDP as it incentivized production.


Showa doll 1 (Showa Phase I): The doll with the red hat and large ribbon is from the end of the Taisho era to the beginning of the Showa era, reflecting the growing interest in exoticism. For many women who were children before and during the war, these dolls, commonly referred to as "Bunka Ningyo" (cultural dolls), represent an unforgettable memory of their childhood. After the war, these Bunka Ningyo was revived, and they enjoyed continued popularity until the late 1960s.


Retro dolls

Popular Bunka Ningyo of the Taisho and early Showa eras(1923 - around 1974)are made of cloth, and their faces are painted in watercolor. 


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