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Ningyo: The Dolls of Japan

Jesson J. Morata (The Freeman) - October 27, 2016 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Japanese people have an exceptional love for dolls and have traditionally cherished the doll culture. Even today, the affection for dolls that has been handed down from generation to generation among the Japanese are evident in the toys that they make, their television shows and movies and even in how they dress.

In Japan, the toy paradise, children never lacked objects to love and "take care of". But, for more than 10,000 years, Ningyo have earned a hallowed place in the Japanese home as lair protectors, fertility boosters, and offspring guardians. They have served loftier functions than mere playthings.

Among the most familiar and popular Japanese dolls are the Hina Ningyo (ornamental dolls for Girls' Day) and the Gogatsu Ningyo (warrior dolls for Boys' Festival).

Families with girls display Hina Ningyo dolls on a three to five-tiered platform for Girls' Day or Hina Matsuri, which falls on March 3. On this day, families pray for the daughters' healthy growth and happiness. Likewise, Gogatsu Ningyo or warrior dolls are displayed during the Tango-no-Sekku Festival or Boys' Festival every May 5 where families pray for the healthy growth of the sons.

To experience the beauty of these Japanese dolls, one may visit the exhibit entitled "Ningyo: The Fascinating World of Japanese Dolls," which opened last October 11 at the Institutional History and Changing Exhibitions Gallery of the USC Museum located at the A. Dingman Building, USC Downtown Campus along P. del Rosario Street.

"Ningyo: The Fascinating World of Japanese Dolls", which is open to the public is the first exhibition of a series called Japanophily organized by the USC Museum.

The Ningyo exhibit at the USC Museum will run until November 12, after which it will transfer to the Learning Resource Center at the Talamban Campus. Japanese dolls are a part of the USC Museum collection to mark 60 years of Philippines-Japan Friendship and Cooperation. (FREEMAN)

DOLLS OF JAPAN
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