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Kabuki Doll


Japanese Doll, Kabuki Doll, Kabukiya Doll Store, WWII souvenir, Decoration, Gift, Geisha, Unmarried woman, Girls' Day, Hinamatsuri Day, Item of luck


Bisque porcelain (unglazed) doll with painted eyes that are open and painted mouth. A black hair wig is fashioned into a bun with metal pins and beads, while also having a painted hairline. The doll wears a floral kimono of pastel colors with a cord and belt around the waist. A wooden platform allows the doll to stand freely. Being produced by the Kabukiya Doll Store in Japan, the fashion and structure of the doll is like other Japanese Kabuki Geisha or unmarried women dolls produced.


Kabukiya Doll Store, Japan


The 1900s or older.


Alexa McLaughlin. Gift of Chris Seidman.


Still image.


The beautiful painted and woven designs of the Kabuki doll originated and gained popularity during the Showa and Heisei period in Japan. Throughout Japan, dolls were created to serve as talismans as well as an expression of the creative culture surrounding art and toy creation. During and after the Heisei period, tourists and traders sought the creation of Kabuki dolls for collections and gifts. The Kabuki doll pictured above was manufactured by a doll shop in Japan, the Kabukiya Doll Store. Fashioned with a handpainted floral kimono, beads, and a rope belt, the doll's stance, and dress resemble the style of a Kabuki Geisha or an unmarried woman. Japanese geishas are women who tend to accompany men; thus the dolls representing them were fancily dressed. Dolls that are made to represent unmarried women are often adorned with gaped sleeves, and simple hairstyles. This particular doll feels the cross between both ideas of women, having metal and beading in her hair, and having a dress that is pastel with a bright floral pattern and gaped sleeves. The confusion of dress in this instance is the print on the dress being too intricate and bright for the unmarried woman, in the idea of purity and youth. Geisha dolls often have bright saturated colors for the base of the dress, rather than the pastel of dress worn by the doll pictured.


Bibliographic Citation

Dayman, Lucy. “8 Of the Most Exquisite Traditional Japanese Dolls.” Japan Objects, Japan Objects, 3 July 2020.

“Event.” Yokohama Doll Museum.

“Kyo-Ningyo – Dolls.” Traditional Kyoto.



MLA Citation

Kabukiya Doll Store, Japan, “Kabuki Doll,” Student Digital Gallery, accessed January 24, 2022,