Japanese Dolls: From Showa to Heisei and Reiwa eras

Jun 17, 2021 - Jul 28, 2021

About Exhibition

Although dolls are children’s toys, they also fulfill shared ethnicity, cultural customs, and history. Dolls have evolved and changed over time, and those used for religious rituals and festivals gradually came to be passed on to children as their playthings. Playing with dolls is a healthy activity for encouraging the healthy growth of both children’s bodies and minds, nurturing affection and imagination.

This exhibition displays dolls that were popular primarily among children in the early Showa to Reiwa eras. Organized by generation, they can be enjoyed with background information on each corresponding period. It also exhibits the “Blue-eyed Doll” (Friendship Doll) presented to Japan as a gift from the United States in 1927. Together with the Japanese Friendship Doll as a return gift, it introduces the history of friendship by exchanging dolls between the two countries.

During the exhibition, we post a "Licca-Chan Quiz" in the WEB gallery. We will make a draw from among those who answered correctly and select 5 persons to receive a Licca-chan doll. We are looking forward to your application!

Organized by The Nippon Club
Supported by the J.C.C. Fund
(Philanthropic Fund of Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in New York)
Supported by The Japan International Doll and Toy Research Association
In cooperation with Cross World Connection Co., Ltd, KODAMA SANGYO Toy Co., Ltd, SEKIGUCHI co., LTD, TOMY International, Inc., NAKAJIMA CORPORATION, BANDAI CO., LTD, VOLKS INC., Masudaya Corporation, Mattel, Inc., melhenz Ltd., Yokohama Doll Museum, Sakae Ward, Yokohama City
, Satoko Kono (JAPAN TOY CULTURE FOUNDATION) and Antique Shop “Geographica”
Curated by Shoko Hayashi

Photo taking by Masao Katagami

◆French Doll(Left Photo)
Height 55cm Material: cloth, cotton wool, wire
In the 1950s and 1960s, French dolls in ball-style dresses gained popularity in Japan. Decorated on a drawing room and piano, it was also a symbol of the wealthy life of the era of high-speed economic growth.

◆4th Generation Licca-chan “I love you, Licca” 1987〜(Right Photo)
Height 22 cm Material: hair PVC fiber, chest ABS resin, arms/feet/head polyvinyl chloride
Licca-chan is an indispensable doll in the toy history of the Showa era to the Heisei era. In 2017,
the 50th anniversary was celebrated, and the national traveling exhibition “50th Anniversary Exhibition” was held in many cities in Japan. It was an exhibition that three generations of parents visited.